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New Crater softball coach will be returning to area

Crater High has named 37-year-old Chris Arnold as its fourth head softball coach.

Arnold is currently the junior varsity coach at The Dalles. He succeeds Mike Meunier, who has been the Comets' coach since 1993. Meunier resigned last May but returned late in the summer when his projected replacement went overseas.

Arnold said he was eager to return to Southern Oregon, after growing up in Klamath Falls and later living in Medford.

"Plus, it's an opportunity to be involved with a successful program and play against some of the best teams in the state."

Arnold is a 1982 Klamath Union graduate and earned his bachelor's degree at Whitworth College in Spokane.

He coached North Douglas in 1997 and 1998, earning Big Fir League coach-of-the-year honors after a second-place finish in 1997.

He's been at The Dalles the past three years, most recently serving as junior varsity coach under Dane Way.

"Now that I have been involved with girls athletics, it's definitely something I enjoy doing," Arnold says. "There are so many opportunities for girls - not only in high school, but also in college; it's really exciting."

He's been involved with Amateur Softball Association summer teams for the past five years and hopes to generate successful summer teams to feed Crater in the future.

Arnold wasn't a high school star - he played a little baseball and basketball - but says he loved baseball.

He got his start coaching while in Drain, where he was a long-term substitute at North Douglas.

"There was an opening for a softball coach and I applied," he recalls. "I'm not so sure why they selected me, but I was younger than a couple others that applied.

"It was a great opportunity and I had a group of seniors that was very successful."

Arnold says he puts a premium on advancing runners aggressively around the bases.

"I believe in a positive, aggressive approach toward the game," Arnold says. "I strongly believe hard work breeds success."

He plans to settle in the Rogue Valley by mid-June.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 776-4483, or e-mail