An Oregon woman has burst through another of the state’s glass ceilings, earning the nod as a new head boys basketball coach at a school which has has just one coach for more than 20 years.
As reported by The Oregonian, the Yamhill-Carlton boys basketball team will be led by Heather Roberts, only the second female head boys basketball coach in state history; the first was Genevieve Beaman, who coached Thurston in the 1930s. Roberts is a longtime girls basketball coach, but the Yamhill-Carlton job will be her first leading a boys team.
“At the end of the day, you take the best candidate for the job,” Yamhill-Carlton athletic director Matt Wiles told The Oregonian. “Her experience for turning around programs, losing programs and turning them into winners in a short period of time wasn’t lost on us.”
Indeed, Roberts has had extensive success leading girls programs in Oregon and Virginia, where her family currently lives; she has 266 wins in 17 years on Oregon campuses.
For Roberts, the timing was right to take over the Yamhill-Carlton program. The team went just 3-21 in 2016, it’s fifth straight season with a losing season.
Now the pressure and eyes will be on Roberts, who will also serve as the school’s Dean of Students. If she is going to pave the way for more women to get a chance to lead a higher-proifle men’s programs.
“I’m not naive to think things won’t be said. I’m sure it’s coming. Hopefully not, but it might be said around the dinner table or in the stands. Frankly, it was said when I was coaching girls,” Roberts said.
“I’m hopeful it won’t happen. But that’s OK. I’m kind of ready for that. I think I have a pretty good resume and I’ve been coaching a long time. … If I treat kids fair, work them hard and have good communication, I think it will work out.”