Battle Ground hires Mike Kesler as head football coach

BATTLE GROUND — Battle Ground Public Schools has hired Mike Kesler to be the next head football coach at Battle Ground High School, pending board approval.

Kesler, the head of security for the district and a former Washington State Patrol Trooper, brings over 25 years of football coaching experience to the position.

Battle Ground Public Schools has hired Mike Kesler to be the next football coach at Battle Ground High School. Kesler is currently the head of security for the district and a former Washington State Patrol Trooper.
Battle Ground Public Schools has hired Mike Kesler to be the next football coach at Battle Ground High School. Kesler is currently the head of security for the district and a former Washington State Patrol Trooper.

“Mike brings a vast wealth of knowledge and experience as a football coach to Battle Ground High,” said Matt Stanfill, Battle Ground High School’s athletic director and an assistant principal. “Mike coaches with a great deal of heart and is dedicated to challenging our kids to be the best versions of themselves both on and off the field. We’re looking forward to building on our solid foundation, and we’re thrilled to have Mike on board as head coach.”

Kesler attended Lincoln High School in Seattle, earning all-league honors as a defensive and offensive lineman in 1975. After graduating, Kesler attended Walla Walla Community College and was named a National Junior College First Team All-American in 1977 before wrapping up his college-playing career at the University of Oregon, where he played defensive line from 1978-1980.

“I’m excited about the opportunity I have before me, and I’m ready for the challenge,” Kesler said. “We are in the profession of encouraging, developing, and building young men of character, and it is a privilege to call yourself a coach. Our ultimate challenge is not in defeating our opponents on the field, but in continually overcoming our weaknesses and adversity to become the best we can be in all aspects of our lives.”

From 1991-2009, Kesler was a head coach and league commissioner for Clark County Youth Football. He also served an assistant coach at Evergreen High School from 1997-2007 and at Union High School from 2007-2016. Over this span, Kesler’s teams compiled a record of 115-32, won six league championships, played in four semifinal games, two state championship games, and won the WIAA Class 4A state title at Evergreen High School in 2004.

Battle Ground High School is in the 4A division of the Greater St. Helens League. Kesler replaces Larry Peck, who resigned for family and personal reasons but remains a teacher at Battle Ground High School. Peck was the coach for the previous six years, and led the team to a state berth in 2015 for the first time in over two decades.

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About The Author

Ken Vance got his start in the newspaper industry in 1987 as a reporter at The Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Vance graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA, and attended Clark College in Vancouver. He worked for The Columbian from 1987-2001. He was most recently a staff member of The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground, where he served as editor since 2010 and reporter since 2007. Vance’s work in the newspaper industry has won him multiple awards, including a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

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