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MOVING ON UP: Outgoing La Grande head football coach Randy Waite will be on the Hermiston football staff this fall. (The Observer file photo).
MOVING ON UP: Outgoing La Grande head football coach Randy Waite will be on the Hermiston football staff this fall. (The Observer file photo).

By Raenelle Kwock

Observer Staff Writer

Outgoing 3A La Grande football coach Randy Waite would like to have stayed at the high school, but the opportunity to coach in a familiar area was too good to pass up.

"It's tough to leave football (here)," Waite said.

Waite will be on the football staff at 4A Hermiston High School in the fall.

He taught at the high school two years prior to coming to La Grande. Waite's mother has taught at the high school since 1984.

Waite's wife, Darla, will teach kindergarten. Randy will teach math at the high school.

Waite said his wife had no job here, so they had to move. They have two children, one in second grade and another who will start kindergarten next year.

Waite teaches math at La Grande High School and he said his teaching position will not be filled.

There will be 4 high school math teaching positions.

"I'll definitely miss all the kids," he said.

His most memorable moment was beating then-No. 3 Ontario 18-14 on Nov. 1 in freezing conditions at Community Stadium.

"Obviously, beating Ontario was a big one," Waite said. "The kids will remember that one."

The Tigers scored 18 points in the fourth quarter to stun Ontario in their final home game of the season.

Ontario was the 3A state runner-up to champion Scappoose last fall.

Waite said the Hermiston football program has been pretty successful the last couple years.

Waite was an assistant coach in 2000 at La Grande and was head coach the last two years.

"Family-wise, I'm happy," Waite said. "It's sad that I'm going."

He wishes the next coach at La Grande much success.

"We've done good things the last couple years," Waite said.

"He turned the program around," La Grande athletic director Verl Miller said. "Whoever succeeds him will benefit from what Randy Waite laid as a foundation."

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