Joe Fulton
PHS track and field coach Joe Fulton hopes to find help for the coaching of pole vaulters and high jumpers. (File photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

The Philomath High School track and field team’s season-opening meet is a little more than a week away and head coach Joe Fulton finds himself in dire need of assistance to handle pole vaulters and high jumpers.

Longtime assistant Dennis Phillips retired as the pole vault coach and the team’s jumps coach from last season, Scott Staten, could no longer help because of increasing responsibilities at his full-time job, Fulton said.

“If we could find somebody that has both pole vault and high jump experience, that would be ideal,” Fulton said Tuesday afternoon. “But right now, we mainly need the pole vault coach because that’s a much more dangerous event and you need somebody out there with those kids all of the time.”

The position is paid a stipend.

For anyone interested, an online application is available or those with questions can contact PHS athletics assistant Amanda Bauer at or 541-929-3211. Fulton will also answer any questions, especially in regards to the specific coaching needs, via email ( or phone (541-929-5047).

Assistant coaches need to go through a certification process to meet state and school district requirements, which Fulton said takes roughly a week.

The position includes an assistant coach’s stipend.

Amey McDaniel
Amey McDaniel, a senior on last year’s team, competes in the pole vault at state. (File photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

Fulton said that over his long coaching career in track and field, he’s never been in this type of situation with a shortage of assistants. He pointed out that he’s not expecting to find an assistant that will come and work with the kids every day.

“If we could get somebody to come and work with pole vaulters twice a week, I’d be happy,” he said. “And if there’s anybody out there that knows the high jump and would like to be a volunteer coach to come and look at our high jumpers once a week or so, we can entertain that as well.”

Heading into this season, Fulton moved Diana Bushnell to oversee the triple jump and high jump.

“High jump and pole vault are events where you really need to be an experienced jumper in those events to coach it properly,” Fulton said.

Fulton said 81 students signed up for track and field, although as of earlier this week, a half-dozen or so of those hadn’t shown up for practice. Philomath High’s first meet is scheduled for April 2 in Tillamook.

“We’ve had John Radetich come by as a guest coach — he’s a former world indoor record holder in the high jump — and Dennis has agreed to be a guest coach three times,” said Fulton, adding that guest coaches are limited to three sessions per season. “You can’t be a guest coach more than three times without going through the proper certification process.”

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.