Basketball has been a part of Brian’s Oberg’s life for so long, he doesn’t know what he is going to do without it.
But, he says its time to step down as the Washougal High School girls basketball coach and focus on his family during a monumental job shift.
Oberg helps run Calvert Company, Inc., which manufactures glued laminated beams and arches to buildings around the world. They are in the process of launching a new product, which would take a lot of time and traveling away from Washougal. With so much uncertainty swirling around, Oberg said it would be unfair to the girls to continue on as head coach.
Oberg grew up playing basketball, graduated from WHS in 1992, and then dedicated more than 20 years to coaching. Everything came full circle in 2013, when Oberg got the opportunity to lead the Panther girls basketball program.
Washougal won 65 games during Oberg’s four seasons as head coach, including the school’s first playoff victory in 32 years, in 2015, and a fourth-place finish at the state tournament, in 2016. The Panthers won a league title for the first time in decades in 2017, returned to the Yakima Sun Dome and reached the fourth-place consolation semifinals.
“I am going to enjoy the memories and the banners hanging up in the gym,” Oberg said. “The hard work and effort these girls have put into the program paid off.”
Oberg thanks the dedicated players, coaches, parents and volunteers that keep the Future Lady Panthers and middle school basketball programs thriving.
“It’s been a seamless transition all the way up from the youth, through the middle school, to the high school level,” he said. “We can say that Washougal is a basketball town again.”
Oberg will miss the players the most. He said Megan Sharp was the perfect captain of the first team he coached. Haley Briggs and Crystal Chase picked up the torch and ran with it. RaeAnn Allen and Alyssa Blankenship took the Panthers further than they have ever gone before.
“Those girls were just workhorses,” Oberg said.
Before this season started, Lindsey Thomas said she didn’t care if she was the best player on the floor. She wanted to help Washougal be the best team out there.
Oberg said that statement trickled down to Maggie Hungerford, Beyonce Bea, Toryi Midland, Tiana Barnett, Ashley Gibbons, Paige Wilson, Mason Oberg and McKinley Stotts.
“These girls are going to be special,” he said. “Not only in basketball, but in life.”