As the baseball team prepares for the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championship tournament May 8, head coach Randy Betten takes a moment to reflect on his nine seasons with the team.
Betten has been in the game for most of his life, playing for Arizona State University, where his team finished third in the 1994 College World Series. He earned All-Pacific 10 Conference first team honors in 1995.
Betten then attended Thomas Edison State College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1998. He continued his education at Azusa Pacific University, where he earned his master’s degree in physical education in 2002. Baseball has always been a huge part of Betten’s life, considering he played professionally for six years after being drafted by the California Angels in 1995. He reached Triple-A in the Angels’ minor league system, with stops in Vancouver and Edmonton.
“The game gave me so much,” Betten said. “I went to college because of baseball, I got my master’s because of baseball, I met my wife because of baseball, and I have a beautiful family because of what the game gave me; it gave me opportunity. So now, to give just a little bit back, it really feels good every day to get up and do that.”
Betten’s coaching career began in 2000, coaching the Angels’ Midwest League affiliate, Cedar Rapids. Prior to joining the Broncos, he was the assistant coach at UC Riverside for six seasons.
Betten joined the Broncos in 2011 and has been riding with the team ever since.
Throughout his years with the program, Betten has led the team to five National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournaments and two NCAA Division II West Region championships.
In 2016, he was named the American Baseball Coaches Association West Region Coach of the Year.
“It’s due to a lot of great players and assistant coaches that work their pants off; it’s just someone gets the accolades for it and it’s usually the head coach,” Betten said.
For the past seven seasons, Betten has worked alongside assistant coach Jenzen Torres, who was a four-year starter for the Broncos and one of Betten’s previous players. Torres was on the committee that met with the new potential head coaches and knew immediately after meeting Betten that he was going to ‘be the one to turn the program around.’
“Yes, he is my boss, but we have a tremendous friendship, he has a tremendous friendship with all of his coaches,” Torres said. “He has been a pleasure to work for and play for throughout my career. I have learned so much from him, not only how to get better as a coach but how to get better as a person.”
On April 27, Betten reached his 300th career win with the Broncos. But, after coaching the team for nine seasons, he completely lost track of his wins and losses and left Scolinos Field that night unaware of his milestone.
“I had no clue, I got a text on the way home from a friend who said ‘Congrats on 300’ and I thought ‘300? Are we hitting .300 as a team?’” Betten said. “I never keep pace of that, I think if you do it long enough you are going to win those amount of games.”
Betten’s love for the game as well as the people surrounding the game is evident by the friendship and respect he has from players, coaches and fans, both on and off the field.
“He really truly cares about every single player; he doesn’t just see them as numbers on a roster,” Torres said. “I know a lot of coaches nowadays are just about wins and losses. Wins and losses are important, but for him, it’s not the end-all, be-all of our program.”
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