THE FRONT ROW WITH JASON ELLIOTT: Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016

Obligations lead to Lums’ depature

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After getting called up to head the Wenatchee Valley Community College baseball program, the clock — as it where — began to tick as to if and when Zach Clanton was going to be able to juggle that job as well as heading the Class AA American Legion Coeur d’Alene Lumbermen program.

Unfortunately, that time it appears has ran out as far as coaching the team goes.

CLANTON STEPPED down as Lumbermen coach earlier this week, leading the team to a fourth-place finish at this year’s state tournament at Timberline High in Boise.

“After three years coaching the program that I love and the one that helped me develop as a player, we have decided it is in the best interest of the program to finish my time as ‘AA’ Lums head coach and focus on my college coaching position,” Clanton said in a statement. “Not because of results, or because of experience, but because I can no longer commit the time needed to bring Coeur d’Alene American Legion baseball to where it needs to be. The time commitment as the head coach at Wenatchee Valley will be substantial. Giving my full time attention to WVCC will make me a better recruiter and head coach.”

Clanton finished his three seasons as Lumbermen coach 65-73.

In one of the highlight games of the season, Clanton had to miss the Lums’ game against Northern Lakes when pitcher Dominic Conigliaro threw a perfect game due to obligations in Wenatchee.

AS PITCHING coach at Wenatchee Valley previously, Clanton recruited Connor Cardinel, Parker Gabrielson and Gibson Green from Coeur d’Alene High, and Steven Vaudreuil from Lake City to the program, all freshmen. Kolby DeHaas, a former Coeur d’Alene standout, recently completed his sophomore season.

Coeur d’Alene not only finished fourth at state at the AA level, but also in Single-A this year.

“I can say with 100 percent confidence that our program is in a better place now than it was when I took over three years ago,” Clanton said. “We were able to complete my three-year plan and hire the best coaching staff from top to bottom in the state of Idaho and Eastern Washington.”

“We’ve enjoyed having Zach as our ‘AA’ coach,” Coeur d’Alene American Legion baseball president Mike Thompson said. “Simply put, his requirements for the WVCC head coach position was going to make it really tough for him to also coach the Lums.”

Clanton will remain involved with the program in some form.

“I do not look at this as goodbye,” Clanton said. “I look at it more as I will see you later and look forward to coaching again in Coeur d’Alene legion baseball. I wish nothing but success for the program. Once a Lum, Always a Lum.”

Jason Elliott is a sports writer for the Coeur d’Alene Press. He can be reached by telephone at 664-8176, Ext. 2020 or via email at jelliott@cdapress.com. Follow him on Twitter @JEPressSports.

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