Walter Cougan | Brendan Ecklebarger | Grant Harris | Matthew Johnson | Tim Riefflin
Craig Parthemer is returning to lead the Bellevue High School Baseball program with strong local roots as a player, parent, and coach at the high school, select, and collegiate levels. Through it all, he believes firmly that together, a team can have fun, work hard, and win.
Craig was the Head Coach at Sammamish HS in 2004 and 2005. The Totems earned KingCo playoff berths during both years. In 2004, he coached Sammamish to an 11-7 record and third place finish in KingCo 3A after the team had won only three games the prior year. He was selected the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (now merged with Seattle Times) Puget Sound Area Baseball Coach of the Year in 2004. He resigned from Sammamish in 2005 to concentrate more efforts towards following the progress of his son T.J., who was entering high school ranks as a premier player in the state.
Following TJ’s local playing journey, Craig began coaching high school again in 2009 as Varsity Assistant Coach at Eastside Catholic HS through the 2010 season. He then moved to Mount Si HS as a Varsity Assistant Coach from 2011 to 2013. In 2011, he helped coach Mount Si to the 2011 Washington State 3A Baseball State Championship for Head Coach Elliott Cribby, now Assistant Head Coach/Pitching Coach at University of Washington. Mount Si also won three straight KingCo 3A Tournament Championships, reached the regional finals in 2012, and a fourth place finish at State in 2013. Parthemer was also a Varsity Assistant Coach at Bellevue HS in 2014. The team won the KingCo 3A regular season title. His local east-side journeys then took him to the position of Varsity Assistant Coach at Interlake HS 2015 and 2016. The Saints qualified for KingCo 3A Tournament in 2016. Craig then took an assistant coaching position at Bellevue College from 2017-2018.
Craig is well established in the youth summer ball circuit, starting as the Head Coach of the Boys of Summer program (sponsored by Poulsbo RV) from 1999 to 2004. Team changed sponsors to become Baden Baseball Club in 2005. He was an assistant with Baden 2005 and 2006. He returned again in 2010 with Boys of Summer. He was an Assistant Coach with 18U in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2016, and was Head Coach at 15U in 2014, and 16U in 2015. He has been an Assistant Coach for 18U since 2016.
Parthemer has helped coach five current or former Major League players, 27 MLB drafted players, and over 96 Division I players. Most notable famous players are retired Major Leaguers and World Series Winners Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants and Jason Hammel of the Chicago Cubs. Parthemer’s extensive experience with high level players and longevity have made him an excellent resource for helping hundreds of players move on to college baseball.
Craig was a former All-KingCo football and baseball player at Sammamish HS. He was Team Captain in baseball, and won the Blocker/Tackler award in football. He was nominated for the National Football Foundation Scholar/Athlete award. His summer ball days were spent under the legendary Coach Bob Albo (member of the state coaches’ hall of fame) with Memorex Legion. He played baseball at the University of Washington from 1980-82. The Huskies won Northern Division of the PAC-10 in 1981. He played three years of Semi-Pro Baseball in Western International League 1980-82, playing for the league Champion Cheney Studs in 1982.
Parthemer has been married for 38 years to wife Joni, who runs her own small business. His son T.J. (32) lives and works in Santa Monica, CA, and is married. He is a former Bellevue College player (2009-10) who transferred to Cornell University. TJ played on the 2012 Ivy League championship baseball team at Cornell and pitched in the 2012 NCAA Tournament at the regionals in Chapel Hill, NC. His daughter Shelby (26) is a Certified Athletic Trainer after receiving her undergrad at UW and Master’s at the University of Arkansas.
Craig has been an Insurance agent for 37 years and currently co-owns a brokerage firm.
Walt Cougan brings over 30 years of coaching experience to bear in his new role as Assistant Coach for Bellevue High School Baseball. Walt’s coaching experience includes High School (Shorewood, Lakeside, Evergreen), Division 1 (UW), and Youth Select Ball (Boys of Summer). Walt also ran the Magnolia Baseball Club for many years, and coached various levels there.
Walt was an All-State Catcher from Evergreen High School, and went on to play for Seattle University.
Brendan Ecklebarger returns to KingCo Baseball, this time as an Assistant Coach for the Wolverines. He brings years of championship play and strong academic results to the field.
Brendan has played college baseball for UW, Bellevue College, and Santa Clara University, graduating from the latter two schools Cum Laude. He has been named or nominated to All-Academic Teams in both NWACC (Bellevue) and WCC (Santa Clara). At Bellevue, he made Second Team All-NWACC for Pitching.
A 2016 Redmond High School Grad, he was a 2-time 1st team All-KingCo and All-State pitcher, and made All-KingCo and All-State squads for 1st Base (2015) and Right Field (2016). His concurrent Select Play at Boys of Summer (2013-2016) included 2 Seattle Premier League Championships. Brendan played in Baseball NW Regional games for 6 seasons, and made both Area Code in 2015 and the Mariners Scout Team in 2016.
Grant Harris is returning to KingCo baseball as an Assistant Coach at Bellevue High School.
A 2021 Graduate of Campbell University, a D1 School in North Carolina, Grant was named to the Big South All-Academic and All-Tournament Teams. His season was filled with career high numbers in offensive production and a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage over 41 games. In his three seasons at Campbell, he made the Big South All-Academic Team twice, and the Big South Presidential Honor Roll once.
Prior to Campbell, Grant played two years at Bellevue College, earning First Team All-NWACC as a rookie. Grant is a 2016 Graduate of Inglemoor High School, where he lettered all four years, was named First Team All-KingCo in 2015, and named All-KingCo Honorable Mention in 2016.
Matthew Johnson returns to KingCo baseball as JV Coach at Bellevue High School, bringing 5 years of coaching experience, player development, and a lifetime of play.
A 2006 graduate of Georgetown University, he was a 4 year starter where he played SS and pitched. Collegiate summer ball took him to the Alaska Baseball League and play in Arizona.
Matthew was a three year starter for Newport High School Varsity Baseball and captained the 2001 3A State Championship team in his senior year. Among other High School highlights were his playing for the Mariners Scout Team in 1999 and Baseball Washington in 2000, and playing for Food Giant in summer ball.
Tim Riefflin joins the Bellevue High School Baseball Coaching Staff with experience that runs the gamut, and a commitment to player development both at the individual level and as part of the team environment. He strongly believes in creating a positive, growth mindset for each player.
Tim has 16 years as a Varsity High School Baseball coach in Southern California and the Seattle area, and has coached all levels of youth baseball from Little League to 18U Select. He came to coaching after two decades of play, including being drafted by the Seattle Mariners and playing in their minor league system, as well as playing in independent professional leagues. Tim played collegiately for UW. He was a 2 time All-KingCo and All-State pitcher from Chief Sealth High School in Seattle.