Bob Waits Baseball Coach 1979 through 1984Bob Waits was a standout college baseball player at Washington State University (WSU) in the early 1970's. Bob set the Cougar single season and career-stolen base marks for WSU under the guidance of legendary coach "Bobo" Brayton. After his college career, Bob played professional baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals. Bob took his dedication, drive, determination, and love of the game into high school coaching.
At Capital High School in Olympia, Washington, Bob guided his team to a State Championship. In 1979, there was an opportunity for a coaching position at Hanford High School, and upon his arrival Bob was taken to the Hanford baseball field with no fences, no dugouts, and no concession stand. Bob was instrumental in getting an adequate baseball field for his Falcon team to play.
Bob demanded that every player give everything he had at all times. He was the guiding force behind Hanford High School winning the Mid-Valley League title every year he coached. His inspirational fire was contagious. All of his players wanted to win, but most impressively, the players wanted to win for Coach Waits.
Bob was so highly thought of that when State rankings came out every year, the Falcons were at or near the top of the rankings even though his teams may not have had the most dominating talent. The current baseball field is now named after Bob Waits to recognize his memory and contribution to Falcon baseball.
--- Letter submitted by Mike Elsen (HHS Class of 1982) ---
"Bounce" was a famous battle cry of Bob's during practices and games. Ask any player that ever had the privilege of playing for him what that the word means and they will probably start sprinting to their spot on the field while they explain it. Bob instilled a lot of pride, respect, and love of the game of baseball in his players and made it clear to each one that he loved us all. His intensity and dedication could not be matched. He was always available to talk and was always interested in his ex-players after they mved on. The mention of his name to various high school or college coaches around the State still illicits the same response, Oh, you played for Bob Waits!"
In 1984, Bob was diagnosed with colon cancer. The tumor was (what else)....the size of a baseball. God must have planted one of those sliders in there," he was quoted as saying. "Lord knows, I never could hit one." Bob died on September 16, 1984. In the spring of 1985, the Hanford Falcon baseball team won a State Championship under the guidance of Glenn Meinke....but Bob was there!