By Patrick Sand and Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
Like his predecessor, West Seattle High School‘s new head baseball coach has deep roots at the school.
Bryan Tupper, a 2002 WSHS graduate, has been announced as the school’s new head baseball coach, successor to Velko Vitalich, who – as reported here a month ago – retired from the role after 31 years.
We talked with Coach Tupper at a local coffee shop this week. His rise to the head-coach job comes after he spent six of the past seven years as an assistant coach for the Wildcats.
He’s a born-and-raised West Seattleite who started playing ball at Bar-S Playfield and played with West Seattle Little League all the way up through seniors. He played in the Pony League, too, for the West Seattle Dodgers.
After college, he wanted to go into coaching, and Coach Vitalich gave him a chance. Since he’s worked with the team for so many years already, he says he’s familiar with the students in the program, and while he’ll have to get to know some of the freshmen, many of them have older siblings with whom he’s already worked at WSHS.
Coach Tupper says his core group for next season has good talent coming along, and he sees a real possibility to build a program that produces teams like the ones who went to state for five consecutive years in the past decade. The building blocks are in place now, he says, to have a competitive team for next year. He says WSHS’s increasing success in sports has encouraged more student athletes to stay at the school rather than switch to independent schools.
Overall, Coach Tupper says, he sees this as a great opportunity – and it’s in his hometown, where his folks still live, too. Now, it’s on to preparing for the 2018 season.