FRUITLAND – The Fruitland High School athletic department has new leadership for the new year, as Russ Wright has been hired as the new athletic director.
Wright will be taking over for Beth Holt, who is now the activities director at Eagle High School. Holt had been the athletic director at Fruitland since 2006.
Wright just concluded is career as a baseball coach this spring, as he resigned as the Grizzlies coach after 13 years. In that time, Wright led the Grizzlies to eight state championship (including four in a row between 2014 and 2017) and 12-straight Snake River Valley district championships. Wright is also a biology teacher at Fruitland High School.
The Grizzlies didn’t have to look far to find a new baseball coach, as Troy Bidwell has been hired to take over the Fruitland baseball team.
Bidwell won’t have to spend much time getting to know the team as he’s been an assistant coach to Wright for the past 14 years.
After spending the 2018-2019 season without an official head coach, the Fruitland basketball team now has its leaders moving forward. Mark Van Weerdhuizen and Willie Lake, who have been assistant coaches for two years (including on the 2018 state championship team) are now co-head coaches for the Grizzlies. Lake had previously been the junior varsity coach, as well.
The softball team is the last remaining team at Fruitland with a coaching vacancy, as Scott Horrace has stepped down. Horrace coached the Grizzlies to a 34-37 record over his three seasons in charge, with Fruitland making it to the state tournament twice in that span.