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Beck and some of his staff will move from North Medford to Crater in hopes of reviving the Comets

CENTRAL POINT ' Neatly attired in black slacks, white shirt and tie, John Beck appeared at a press conference at the Central Point School District administrative offices Monday and confirmed coffee shop talk that had brewed all weekend: He's leaving his post as a teacher and head football coach at North Medford High to become athletic director, assistant principal and head football coach at Crater.

News of the bombshell leaked out late last week and was made official Monday.

This is the kind of hire that you usually only dream about, said outgoing Crater athletic director Dan Speasl, who will retire in June. John Beck will immediately bring credibility to this program. He's a young, smart coach who is full of fire and energy, and he'll make the (Crater) kids believe they can be successful.

Beck, 42, spent the past six years at North Medford, the first three as defensive coordinator and the past three as head coach, where he compiled a 28-7 record.

The Black Tornado went 12-2 last season and finished as the state runner-up.

— I've always wanted to move into the administrative realm, and this is a great opportunity to start down that path, said Beck, who's expected to receive a hefty pay raise in his new job. It's sad to leave North Medford, but it's also exciting to take on a different challenge.

Several of Beck's assistants, including wide receivers coach David Douglas and defensive backs coach Chris Parnell, are expected to join him on the Crater staff.

North Medford athletic director Mike Kay, meanwhile, said Monday that his school expects to name a new coach within a month. Beck's successor could come from within the building at North, in the community at large or from out of the area, Kay said.

Our administration has yet to set a timetable, but I would think we'd want to get moving on this quickly, Kay said. I know there are some great candidates out there who know what a good job this is.

We're looking to bring someone in to keep us at the same level we're at.

Crater hasn't posted a winning season since 1994, hasn't achieved a state playoff berth since 1985 and has never won a postseason game.

Beck said his first priorities at Crater will be to upgrade the youth programs, coax the high school players into attending more summer camps and upgrade the practice facility in Central Point.

The practice facility is very much a concern, he said. There isn't a lot of space.

Beck declined to speculate how long it might take him to resuscitate a Crater program that has won only three games the past two years. But he vowed that it would happen.

We're going to put the pieces together, he said. We're going to work hard and be organized. Our system has worked before, and I know it will work here.

I'm not going to talk in terms of wins and losses right now, and we know there's going to be some bumps in the road.

But we're going to set high expectations. If you don't, you'll never reach them.

Beck and his staff met with the North Medford players in an emotional meeting Monday morning that brought tears to many.

It's really upsetting, said junior Ben Running, who is expected to be the Black Tornado's starting quarterback next fall. I've probably spent more time with those football coaches the last three years than I have with my own family. Now they're basically telling us they're out of our lives.

It's not really stabbing us in the back, but that's what it feels like.

Running added that he's got Oct. — ' the date of the Crater-North Medford game at Spiegelberg Stadium ' circled on his calendar.

John Beck guided North Medford to a 28-7 record in three seasons, including 12-2 last fall and runner-up in Class 4A.