Ever since she was a freshman at Portland’s Wilson High School, Rachel Webb dreamed of coaching a high school girls basketball team.
She recalls an encounter with a young girl struggling to shoot the ball into the basket as a moment that changed her life.
“She couldn’t even hit the backboard,” Webb said. “But after I gave her just a few pointers, she started making them. Swish, swish, swish. I got goosebumps.”
Webb achieved her dream when she became the new head coach of the Washougal High School girls basketball program. She has been involved in local youth basketball, baseball and football leagues since moving to town in 2004. She also teaches physical education at the high school.
“It was an opportunity of a lifetime, and I just couldn’t pass it up,” Webb said. “There were some really great candidates who applied for this job. I just felt humbled and privileged to get the opportunity to lead these girls to the next level.”
Webb played basketball through college at Eastern Washington University, and graduated with a bachelor’s in education. She coached basketball and volleyball at Century High School, in Hillsboro, and Sherwood High School, near Tualatin.
Rachel and her husband, Chris, moved to Washougal when he got a new job. They settled into the community with their son, Parker, and had two daughters named Laney and Whitney.
“I love it in Washougal,” Rachel Webb said. “I love the small town feel and how everyone goes to the games. I love that we’re close to the river and we’re close to the mountain. It’s a great place to live.”
Webb credits her love of coaching to her father, Bob Ferguson, and her college coach, Heidi VanDerveer. Her high school coach, Jim MacDicken, also holds a special place in her heart.
“Even after college, he was the best coach I ever had,” she said. “He taught me integrity, character and the class of a player, along with great fundamental basketball skills.”
After three weeks of working with the Washougal girls basketball players, Webb is excited about a summer filled with activities. The Panthers will attend a camp at the University of Portland, June 21 to 23, and a tournament in the San Juan Islands, July 17 to 21.
“I hope to continue to be involved in the youth, and build continuity between the youth teams and the high school teams,” Webb said. “I want to build a program that is tenacious and a good fundamental basketball program.”
The 38-year-old Webb has roots firmly planted in Washougal. Her goal is to coach until her youngest daughter graduates from the high school.
“I hope we start a woman’s legacy here in Washougal,” she said. “That’s my goal for the program.”