Richland High School (Washington)


Richland High School
930 Long Avenue
Richland, Washington, US
Coordinates46°16′41″N 119°17′17″W / 46.278°N 119.288°W / 46.278; -119.288Coordinates: 46°16′41″N 119°17′17″W / 46.278°N 119.288°W / 46.278; -119.288
School districtRichland School District
PrincipalTim Praino[1]
Enrollment1,967 (2019–20)[2]
Color(s)Green and gold
Richland is located in the United States
Location in the United States
Richland is located in Washington (state)
Location in Washington

Richland High School is a public secondary school in the northwest United States, located in Richland, Washington. The school was founded as Columbia High School in 1910 to serve the educational needs of the small town of Richland. The building was replaced with a much larger structure by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1946 as the development of the neighboring Hanford Engineering Works brought an infux of employees to the region to support the war effort.

Columbia High was renamed Richland High School as the small farming community continued to develop as weapons production climbed during the Cold War and the town was designated as a first class city in 1958. The facilities of were extensively renovated in 1964, and remodeled again in stages between 1995 and 2006. The school is now part of the Richland School District. Until the founding of Hanford Falcons in 1972, Richland High was the only high school in the city.[3]

Richland's mascot is the "Bomber", officially named for the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress built in Seattle, but also in recognition of the city's contributions as an "Atomic City" in World War Two. Hanford was home to the Manhattan Project's B Reactor, the first full-scale plutonium production reactor in the world. Plutonium manufactured at the site was used in the nuclear bomb detonated over Nagasaki, Japan. Mushroom cloud logos are proudly displayed throughout the school and the student body used to shout "nuke 'em" at sporting events.[4]

In 2019, "Archie" a B-17 Ball Turret Gunner was named the first-ever character mascot at Richland High School. The mascot is named after Archie Purcell, a WWII veteran who was a ball turret gunner on the famous B-17 "A Days Pay".

As the region has diversified since its past as a federally owned Atomic City where 90% of the population was either employed by or a dependent of Hanford, the school has since received criticism for its depiction of a mushroom cloud as an unofficial logo for the school, believing that the logo and the mascot to be a shameful reminder of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.[5]


Richland High has an enrollment of roughly 2,000; its WIAA classification is 4A, for the state's largest schools. The football stadium, which is used for both Richland and Hanford High School events, is located immediately adjacent to the grounds of Richland High School, and was named Fran Rish Stadium in his honor in 1986.


The Bombers were state champions in 1981, 1999, and 2017, and played in the title game in 1975, 1996, and 2016. The 2017 team was coached by Mike Neidhold, the 1999 team by Lonnie Pierson, and the 1981 team by J.D. Covington.[6]

Cross country

Richland was a cross country power in the early 1970s, winning a then-record five straight AAA state boys' titles under coaches Max Jensen (1970–72) and Mike Hepper (1973–74). Jensen went on to be a successful coach at Spokane Community College. The RHS girls' cross-country team won the state championship in 1993 under coach Mike Mills, and also qualified for state in 2005 and 2006.


RHS has a very strong girls and boys soccer program. The 1999 state champion team, led by future United States World Cup and gold medal-winning goalkeeper Hope Solo, was undefeated and ranked fourth in the nation. Both the boys' and girls' team were state champions in 2003.

Octavio DoValle Sr. has been the Richland High School boys soccer coach since 1987. Under his direction, the soccer program built the first dedicated high school soccer stadium in the state.


Richland High School's baseball team has been highly successful, winning four state titles in eleven years (1999, 2005, 2007, 2009), and another in 2018. This was especially impressive considering the football team had won state earlier in that same school year, Josh Mendoza and Adam Weissenfels playing key roles on both teams. Former coach Ben Jacobs is the winningest coach in school history with over 400 wins. One of Jacobs' notable alumni is Travis Buck of the Cleveland Indians, formerly of the Oakland Athletics.


Richland has won three state championships in boys' basketball, most recently in 1979, a team led on the floor by Mark Hoke, Bob Kennedy, and Brian Kellerman.[7][8][9] Previous state titles were in 1972 and 1958;[10][11] and the Bombers made the state semi-finals seven times in eight years in the 1970s, advancing to five finals.[12] In the 1960s, they won the third place game four times in five years.[13][14][15] Kellerman was a four-year starter at Idaho, a top ten team in 1982, and he was the Big Sky player of the year as a sophomore in 1981.


Richland High School has had a strong boys golf program since the 1970s. RHS won three state championships in the span of fuve years between 2000 and 2005. In 2016 the school placed second in the state.



  1. ^ "Administration". Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  2. ^ "Richland High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  3. ^ Kershner, Jim. "Richland – Thumbnail History". Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  4. ^ Probert, Cameron (April 27, 2017). "Richland High School's bomber mascot and mushroom cloud logo in the news again". Tri-City Herald. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  5. ^ Cary, Annette (June 6, 2019). "Richland High's mushroom cloud logo surprised a Japanese student. She finally spoke up". Tri-City Herald. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  6. ^ Coach J.D. Covington
  7. ^ Jordan, Jeff (March 19, 1979). "Seattle Coliseum: 'Tri-Cities West'". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 26.
  8. ^ "Richland proves its No. 1". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. March 18, 1979. p. 2B.
  9. ^ "Another hoop crown for Richland quintet". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. March 19, 1979. p. 21.
  10. ^ "Bombers champs". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. March 20, 1972. p. 16.
  11. ^ "Richland tips Lewis & Clark to take Washington AA title". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. March 16, 1958. p. 8.
  12. ^ Craker, Craig (March 4, 2014). "Boys basketball: Richland High squad brings back memories of fabled '79 team". Tri-City Herald. (Kennewick, Washington). Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  13. ^ "Richland 3rd again". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. March 17, 1964. p. 1, sports.
  14. ^ "Bombers claim third in state cage tourney". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. March 22, 1964. p. 1, sports.
  15. ^ "Richland has third place". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. March 20, 1966. p. 1, sports.
  16. ^ Boeing Commercial's Jim Albaugh retires, MyNorthwest, June 26, 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012
  17. ^ The Sun Devils webpage. Retrieved 11 July 2012
  18. ^ Gene Conley at the SABR Baseball Biography Project, by John R. Husman, Retrieved 2012-07-11.
  19. ^ "Past State Poet Laureates". Arts WA. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  20. ^ Richland School District honors and awards. Retrieved 11 July 2012
  21. ^ USC Aiken webpage Archived July 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 11 July 2012
  22. ^ Richland native Gen. Mattis to replace Petraeus, Tri-City Herald, July 9, 2010. Retrieved 11 July 2012
  23. ^ Lamothe, Dan (December 1, 2016). "Trump picks retired Marine Gen. James Mattis for secretary of defense". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  24. ^ "Ruemmler Started Out as Enron Prosecutor", dated 1 January 2011
  25. ^ "White House Counsel", dated 10 October 2014
  26. ^ Hope Solo seeks more gold, adventure and balance, MaxPreps, July 9, 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012
  27. ^ Pete (August 21, 2019). "Richland grad called-up to the big leagues". Newstalk AM 870 KFLD. Retrieved August 22, 2019.

External links

  • Official website
  • "Richland High Overview".