Long-time assistant coach Dave Blevins has been hired as the new head coach of the Roseburg High School softball program, athletic director Russ Bolin announced Wednesday.

Blevins, 40, takes over for Brad Deaver, who resigned recently due to health reasons.

“(We’re) very excited that Dave was available to take over the head softball position,” Bolin said in a statement. “His knowledge, experience and passion for the game will continue the great softball tradition that RHS has.”

Blevins has been an assistant coach at Roseburg for five seasons and has coached under the previous two head coaches, Deaver and Tony Campos.

Blevins said he was planning to step away from his coaching role this year so he could follow his daughter, Madysn, during her freshman season of softball at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington.

“I just can’t get away from the game,” Blevins said. “I have a real soft spot for Roseburg softball and some of the kids that are coming up. I’ve been around through the summer ball programs.”

In addition to being an assistant coach at RHS, Blevins has also been a head coach at multiple age levels with the Indian Fastpitch summer program. He’s very familiar with the group of players he’ll be leading this year and thinks the team has a chance to go far.

“The kids that we have now are young. They’re all sophomores and juniors and they’re just full of talent,” Blevins said. “They’ve been around the program for a while. I think we’re going to do very, very well and we’re going to compete.”

Last year, under Deaver, the Roseburg girls reached the quarterfinals and finished the year 18-10 overall. Deaver coached for three seasons at Roseburg and had a 50-31 record.

“Brad’s done a really great job and we all hate to see him leave,” Blevins said.

George Decker and John Reynolds, a couple of long-time assistants, will remain with the team under Blevins.

The coaching staff will have less than six weeks to prepare for its first practice of the spring season. The Indians begin the softball season with a nonconference game at Stewart Park against McNary on March 16.

Joey Keeran is the sports director for KSKR The Score.

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