Kevin Crosson is finally getting his chance to be a high school head basketball coach.
“I probably started thinking about it after my first two years of coaching,” Crosson said. “I really got hooked on girls basketball, and I realized one day I wanted to run a program at a high school.”
The Oregon Board of Education has yet to approve Crosson's contract, but Clay Athletic Director Mike Donnelly announced Wednesday that Crosson is the Eagles' new varsity girls coach.
“During the interview process Kevin established himself as the right person to take over the girls basketball program,” Donnelly said. “His vision for building a cohesive girls basketball program from third grade through 12th grade will greatly benefit the entire Oregon community.”
Crosson, who has been Clay's girls golf coach since the program's inception 12 years ago, said he was hired the second week of April.
“I was ecstatic,” he said. “I thought I had a good shot, just because I've been here so long. It has been one of my goals since I started coaching way back when, and I've been coaching basketball for about 15 years. I teach at Clay and I love the kids at Clay. It's a great community. I look forward to working with the kids and I look forward to having an exciting program.”
Crosson, a social studies teacher at Clay, replaces Roger Achter, who resigned Feb. 28. Achter took over the Clay program in 1995 and had a 165-166 career mark that included a 1-18 record in 2010-11.
Crosson coached basketball at McCord Junior High School for one year and coached Whitmer's junior varsity girls team for one year before moving to Clay. He was the Eagles' freshman girls coach for one year and their JV coach for the past 11 years. He was also Achter's varsity assistant, serving as offensive coordinator for 11 years.
Crosson said he will remain the head coach of the girls golf team, which won the City League championship in 2010.
“I really would like to thank Roger Achter and John Free, who was Roger's varsity assistant coach for 16 years, for all the guidance and wisdom they've given me over the past 12 years and preparing me to be a varsity head coach,” Crosson said.
He added that he plans to rebuild Clay's girls basketball program “from the bottom up.” He is starting a Junior Eagles program, for grades 3-6, which will play every Saturday throughout the basketball season.
“They will be coached by the Clay staff and the Clay varsity team, learning fundamentals and also playing some games,” Crosson said. “I'm going to continue with the Eagle Basketball Camp, which runs June 6-9 from 9 a.m.-noon at the high school for grades 3-12. At the high school level we will continue to practice during the summer, have open gyms, be in summer leagues and have shootouts and team camps as well.”
Clay is leaving the CL at the end of this school year to join the Three Rivers Athletic Conference.