ASHLAND — Veteran head coach Hans Voskes has been chosen to take over the Ashland High track and field program, according to Athletics Director Karl Kemper on Friday.

ASHLAND — Veteran head coach Hans Voskes has been chosen to take over the Ashland High track and field program, according to Athletics Director Karl Kemper on Friday.

Voskes has been involved in the track and cross country programs at Phoenix High, Southern Oregon University and North Medford High since 1978.

He recently completed his 10th track season in his second turn with the Pirates, and also has shared head duties in cross country with his son Piet for the Black Tornado since 2004.

"He has a ton of experience," said Kemper. "He knows the sport inside and out, he's great with kids and he's a great role model. He brings a lot of energy and energy and passion for track. He's going to get kids excited to come out for track and help build our program."

Voskes replaces Ron Graham, who headed the program from 2005-07 and this past season. Graham resigned his teaching and coaching positions at Ashland High to move to Hawaii.

"We appreciate the hard work and dedication he put into building the program during his time here," Kemper said in a press release. "Coach Graham will be missed but has handed the reins off to a quality individual that will continue to build on the strong foundation he laid."

Voskes began coaching in the Rogue Valley in 1978 when he became head coach in track and cross country at Phoenix until 1988. He moved to SOU after that and was the head cross country coach for the Raiders from 1989-98, as well as SOU's distance coach in track during that time span.

Voskes returned to Phoenix in 2000, where he remained through this past season.

During his second run at Phoenix, Voskes coached some of the state's top distance runners in state champions Elliott Jantzer and Nathan May.

While at SOU, the Raiders had 14 national championship qualifiers in cross country and Voskes led the team to a conference title in 1995.

Reach reporter Kris Henry at 776-4488, or e-mail khenry@mailtribune.com