SAN MARCOS (7-12-2018) (UPDATED 7-13-2018) -- Ben Adams, Palomar's longtime associate head coach who just completed his 14th season in the program, was announced as the Comets' new head baseball coach on Thursday by Director of Athletics Scott Cathcart.
Adams follows previous head coach Buck Taylor, who stepped down as one of the nation's most successful and respected community college head coaches to accept a position as pitching coach / pitching coordinator at Kansas State University of the Big 12 Conference.
"I want to thank Scott Cathcart and I'm excited to receive the opportunity," Adams said. I'm going to try to live up to the legacy Buck and (retired California Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame head coach) Bob Vetter have established. It should be a smooth transition. The program's philosophy and values won't change."
Besides winning (968 victories, a .628 winning percentage and 16 conference championships under Vetter and Taylor), that includes developing players on the field, moving them on to the four-year college and professional levels, and demanding they go to class and take care of business academically.
The program has a national reputation for producing eventual four-year college graduates and for placing players at Division I schools (11 from the 2018 team). On the pro level, the Comets have had four former players (Nick Vincent of the Seattle Mariners, Tyler Saladino of the Milwaukee Brewers, Tim Hill of the Kansas City Royals and James Hoyt of the Cleveland Indians) playing in the Major Leagues this season.
All four were on 25-man opening-day rosters, with Saladino beginning the season with the Chicago White Sox and Hoyt with the defending World Series champion Houston Astros, before both were traded during the season. Vincent, Saladino and Hill are currently playing Major League baseball, while the Indians optioned Hoyt to their Triple-A team at Columbus, Ohio, after trading for him on July 6.
Adams has, Vetter said on Thursday, "paid his dues" as a member of the Palomar baseball staff since 2005 (when Vetter hired him as an assistant coach in his final season before he retired). The Comets' 2005 team advanced to the California Community College championship game, finishing second in the state to Santa Rosa. After the season, Taylor was elevated from being Vetter's associate head coach to heading the program as head coach. Taylor appointed Adams as associate head coach.
Vetter came out of retirement in 2016 to re-join the program he established as an assistant coach on Taylor's staff and will remain on Adams' coaching staff.
Prior to arriving at Palomar, Adams was assistant head coach at then-NCAA Division I Centenary College of Lousiana in Shreveport, LA from 2001 through 2004, He also coached in the Division III ranks at Kalamazoo Collge in 1999-2000.
Adams began his collegiate playing career at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Washington from 1994-1996. He received an AA degree from Big Bend in 1996, then moved on to Eastern Oregon University where he played from 1997-1999.
He earned a B.S. degree in health / physical eduction from Eastern Oregon in 1999 and received an M.A. degree in physical eduction from Western Michigan Universiy in 2001.
He currently is an adjunct kinesiology instructor at Palomar and is an academic advisor in the kinesiology / athletic department.
"On paper, Ben has never been a head coach. That's on paper. In reality, he shared head coaching duties with Buck Taylor," Vetter said.
Adams and his wife Mary live in Oceanside with son Jackson and daughter Vivian.