By BEN MCCARTY
News staff writer
August 2, 2006
The Hood River Valley High School Athletic Department will have a lot of new faces this coming year. In addition to new athletic director Brent Marsh, the school is bringing in new boys’ basketball coach Zach Pauls, volleyball coach Scott Walker and baseball coach Chris Albertson.
Pauls comes to Hood River Valley having coached the Sandy High School boys’ JV team and been a varsity assistant. As head coach of the Eagles, Pauls will be facing off against his former school when conference play begins in the reformed Mt. Hood Conference.
“Zach brings enthusiasm, hard work, and self discipline,” Hood River Valley principal Steve Fisk said.
Pauls is a former college basketball player and will be an instructional assistant in the school’s special education program, having had extensive instructional experience through his involvement in the Special Olympics.
Chris Myers, the head basketball coach at Sandy High School thinks that Pauls is capable of doing great things as a head coach.
“He was my freshman coach last year,” Myers said. “And he took a team I did not expect to do very well and did awesome with them.”
Myers added that Pauls has been great with students.
“I have no doubt he will do some amazing things with Hood River,” he said.
Walker comes aboard from Mesquite High School in Gilbert, Ariz., where he coached JV girls’ volleyball, and was an assistant coach for boys’ varsity volleyball and boys’ JV basketball. Walker and his wife, Heather, recently had their first child, and wanted to return to Oregon to be closer to their families.
“I just look for improvement,” Walker said. “I look for girls who want to get better.”
He looks forward to being back in Oregon away from the heat of Arizona and is intrigued by the matchups in the Mt. Hood Conference.
“It’s going to be an interesting year,” he said. “We are in just about the toughest conference in the whole state.”
Albertson was the head varsity assistant at Gresham High School. He played college baseball at Mt. Hood Community College, where he received the Joe Gillis Mr. Hustle award in 2000.
“The great thing about Chris is he brings those indelible qualities of a life-long learner: character, and integrity,” Fisk said.
In addition to coaching baseball, Albertson will be teaching advanced math classes at Hood River Valley.
Fisk said that the common thread among all the new coaches is their willingness to make a long term commitment to the school district, previous small town experience, and a strong sense of being community-centered.
“We look forward to them working with our kids and building a future here at the high school,” he said.