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Heritage girls basketball hires new coach

Former Camas Papermaker Jacob Kaler will take over for Timberwolves

A former Camas basketball player is getting his first head coaching job.

Jacob Kaler, a 2011 graduate of Camas, has been hired as the girls basketball coach at Heritage High School. Kaler was scheduled to meet with his team earlier today.

Jacob Kaler, shown here coaching in the boys program, has been hired as the head coach of the Heritage girls basketball program. A 2011 Camas graduate, this will be his first head coaching position. Photo courtesy of Jacob Kaler
Jacob Kaler, shown here coaching in the boys program, has been hired as the head coach of the Heritage girls basketball program. A 2011 Camas graduate, this will be his first head coaching position. Photo courtesy of Jacob Kaler

Kaler will take over for Karrin Wilson, who resigned due to personal reasons, according to Leta Meyer, Heritage’s athletic director. Wilson had been the coach the past 10 seasons.

Now is the start of a new era for Heritage girls basketball.

“I know there is some key young talent,” Kaler said. “They work hard together from what I’ve seen. They bring a lot of energy. I’m excited to work with them.”

Kaler has been as assistant coach for the Heritage boys basketball program the past two seasons.

Kaler played at Camas and then college basketball at Southern Oregon University and Simpson University in Redding, Calif.

Now a personal trainer working for Nike, he said Nike has always encouraged him and other employees to find ways to help out in the community.

“I thought it was my turn to give back,” Kaler said. “I’m passionate about helping people. I like working with athletes, helping people achieve their goals, both individual and team goals.”

That will help in his transition from assistant boys coach to head girls coach, he and his athletic director say.

“He is super energetic, very positive, very motivational,” Meyer said. “The girls will respond well to him.

The timing of Wilson’s resignation would not be considered ideal. High school basketball practice begins Nov. 12.

“Change is difficult but also change is good,” Meyer said. “I’m excited to have him.”

Kaler is optimistic that the program can improve.

“We just want to compete, bring that competitive intensity day in and day out,” Kaler said.

He also said he is looking forward to the “opportunity we have to surprise people.”

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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