Champion baseball coach set to return to Prairie

Paul Valencia
Paul Valencia

BRUSH PRAIRIE — It appears a Hall of Fame coach is returning to the school where he had much of his success.

Don Freeman, a two-time state champion baseball coach, is expected to become the next baseball coach at Prairie High School. The move is pending school board approval in September, according to Jason Castro, the school’s athletic director.

“As soon as we had an opening, I said, ‘What do you think of getting Donny Baseball back to where he belongs at Prairie High School?’ I could not be more excited to have him,” Castro said.

It will be a month or so before the current Falcons can meet their new coach. Freeman is in Europe, coaching a team in Germany. In fact, Castro had a phone interview with Freeman when Freeman and his team were in Amsterdam.

“Sadly, the Battle Ground School District would not pay for me to go over there to interview him,” Castro said with a laugh.


Don Freeman is expected to return to coach the Prairie baseball program. Photo courtesy of Don Freeman.
Don Freeman is expected to return to coach the Prairie baseball program. Photo courtesy of Don Freeman.

Freeman won state titles with Prairie in 1986 and 1989. He coached the baseball team for 22 seasons. He also has coached at Heritage High School and Clark College, among his stops. His summers were filled with coaching USA Baseball youth teams all over the world. And in recent years, he has been spending his summers in Europe.


Recently, he was named to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s Hall of Fame. (He will be inducted in 2018.)

Also next year, he will receive national recognition when he is inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame. He is the only one of the 11 inductees for the Class of 2018 from the Pacific Northwest.


About The Author

Paul Valencia joins after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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