UC Riverside assistant baseball coach Randy Betten
has been named head coach at Cal Poly Pomona, becoming just the fifth in the
school’s 51-year history. Betten, 39,
had worked for the Highlanders the last six years after also serving at both
Cal Baptist and Riverside Community College but this will be his first head
“It was an attractive position, not just because of the
tradition of Cal Poly Pomona and its great academic reputation but because I
grew up here,” he said. “I am looking forward to getting back to the roots of
this community because there is a lot of talent in this area.”
Betten replaces Mike Ashman who directed the Broncos program
for 15 years before stepping down in August. Last year the Broncos went 26-27
overall, including an 18-22 mark within the California Collegiate Athletic
Association. The Broncos last made the CCAA Tournament in 2005, with the
program’s most recent appearance in the NCAA Tournament coming in 1993.
The Broncos captured Division II national titles in 1976,
1980 and 1983.
Betten had individual meetings with each of his 31 returning
players on Tuesday. The team starts practice on Thursday in preparation for its
regular season opener on Feb. 3 at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
Jimmy Ramos, who had served as interim head coach since
Ashman’s departure, will remain on staff as an assistant to Betten which should
ease the transition.
“The first order of business is getting organized and
familiarizing myself with the personnel we have coming back. They are all
excited about getting started,” he said. “The first game is going to be here
before we know it.”
After joining the UCR staff in September of 2004, Betten
helped guide the Highlanders to the Big West Conference title in 2007 as the
squad was ranked as high as 13th in the nation during the year. That
championship marked the first time in 20 years that a Division I program in the
UC system won its conference championship outright.
Before becoming part of the UCR program, Betten served as an
assistant for Cal Baptist in 2004, when the Lancers overcame a slow start to
post a 30-22 record and finished as runners-up in the Region II Tournament.
Prior to his time
with the Lancers, Betten served as an assistant under Dennis Rogers at Riverside Community College (1996-2003). He
was the head assistant when the Tigers won three straight California Community
College state championships from 2000 to 2002.
Throughout his coaching career, Betten has had 40 position
players either drafted or signed to professional contracts.
Betten played professionally for six years after being taken
in the 26th round by the California Angels in the 1995 draft. He reached as
high as the Triple-A level with the Angels’ teams in Vancouver and Edmonton in
1998 and 1999. He began his coaching career in 2000 with the Angels Midwest
League affiliate, Cedar Rapids.
Betten graduated from the now-defunct New Life Christian
High School in Highland. He began his college career at RCC, earning
All-American, All-Southern California and All-Orange Empire Conference honors
in 1992 and 1993. He then earned a scholarship to Arizona State and was part of
a team that finished third in the 1994 College World Series. In 1995, Betten
earned All-Pacific 10 Conference first team honors while serving as a team
Betten earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Thomas
Edison State College in 1998. He also earned a master’s degree in physical
education from Azusa Pacific in 2002.
Betten and wife Amy and their three children live in