Celebrated coach back in the game

Roland Minder, who led the Camas boys soccer team to 3 state titles, returns this spring as head coach

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Camas girls soccer coach Roland Minder will return as the head coach of the Camas boys soccer team in the spring of 2022.

When Rory Oster approached Roland Minder about returning to his post as head coach of the Camas High School boys soccer team earlier this year, the Papermakers’ hall-of-famer wasn’t entirely enthusiastic about the proposition.

Minder looked forward to turning the program “over to the next generation” when he retired from the position in 2017, and had hoped that his successor, Dan Macaya, would settle in as the next long-term coach of the traditionally successful program.

“Rory was down at the stadium and he told me that Dan had turned in his resignation. He said that what he would like is, of course, for me to come back,” Minder said. “At first, I was like, ‘Nah, I don’t know.'”

But Minder thought about it more, talked to Oster a few more times and eventually changed his mind, won over by the prospect of working with a coach-in-waiting who would handle the administrative responsibilities that come with a head coaching position to allow him to focus on soccer. He’ll resume duties as head coach of the Camas boys soccer program this spring, athletic director Rory Oster announced earlier this month.

“I cannot stress how excited I am for our boys soccer program right now,” Oster said. “I have such tremendous respect for coach Minder and was thrilled when he showed interest in returning.”

Minder will take over for Dan Macaya, who took over for Minder in 2018.

“I told Rory, ‘I’m not the long-term solution here, but I’d be glad to come and work with somebody to get them ready to be the next long-term coach,'” Minder said. “(This is) not the second coming. I’m kind of a transitional figure here. It’s more than just a flash in the pan, but at the same time, I’m not looking at doing 10 or 15 years again.”

Josh Stoller, a former Camas player, will join Minder on the sidelines as the Papermakers’ associate head coach.

“I just decided that rather than having somebody come in from the outside that doesn’t understand the community or what our history is, I’d much rather (come back),” Minder said. “I’ve invested a lot of years into the program, so I wanted to see it continue. Not that any new coach has to do everything the way that I did, obviously. But (I’d like to see) the culture of it, around at least some of the philosophy, continue. What made me decide (to take the job) was Josh was really enthusiastic. I think he’s going to really be able to learn quickly. He has the commitment and dedication to carry the program further.”

Stoller said that he’s “honored to have the opportunity to coach alongside Roland.”

“His knowledge and experiences are unlike most (other coaches). As a young coach with three years with the Camas program, I am excited to learn from one of the best,” Stoller said. “Minder’s passion and knowledge for the game is unparalleled. His intensity and focus are instilled from day one. It is an environment where players are given the tools and tactics to thrive through proper preparation. A player who understands this will always take the pitch knowing they have Minder’s support. I look forward to assisting him in providing these young men a blueprint for success on and off the pitch.”

Minder coached the Camas boys soccer program from 1995 to 2017, leading the Papermakers to 18 league titles and three state championships. He coached the Camas girls teams from 2004 to 2018, leading the Papermakers to 12 league titles and two state titles.

Between the two programs, Minder accumulated a record of 589-106-46.

“We have had some talented kids along the way. There’s absolutely no question about that,” Minder said. “But one of the things that we always stress is that there’s no team anywhere that’s going to outwork us. We have a blue-collar Papermaker mentality. You bring your lunch pail to work, punch the clock and don’t quit working until that final whistle blows. Work ethic is huge. Also, (we get) buy-in from the players into a system, make sure that everybody’s on the same page, make sure that we don’t necessarily pick the 11 best players, but the best 11, if that makes sense, and build relationships.”

He retired from coaching after the 2018 girls season, but returned to serve as an assistant coach under Keri Tomasetti this fall.

“The success of the Camas programs over the years can be attributed to his coaching philosophy,” Stoller said. “(He fosters a) team-oriented, organization-above-individual player mentality with an attacking mindset. He has cultivated a team culture where everyone buys into the ‘we’ concept as you represent your school and community. He also has an eye for talent. He can take any group of players and organize them into a well-rounded team ready to battle at the top of the league and continue his legacy for league championships and state tournament runs. It is a history all players are privy to, adding even more motivation.”

The Papermakers dominated during the delayed, abbreviated 2020 campaign, finishing 11-0-1 under Stoller and Richard Gooch, who served as interim co-coaches after Macaya took paternity leave.

“We have a great group of student-athletes who are talented and ready to compete at the highest level right now,” Oster said. “Coach Minder will step right in and allow them that opportunity.”