Prairie football coach resigns after three seasons

Kevin Baker steps aside in hopes the school can find a long-term head coach to build the program

BRUSH PRAIRIE — Prairie High School is in search of a new football coach.

Kevin Baker resigned as Prairie’s football coach Wednesday. Photo by Mike Schultz
Kevin Baker resigned as Prairie’s football coach Wednesday. Photo by Mike Schultz

Kevin Baker told his players after the season ended Monday night that he was planning to retire from coaching. The school announced his decision Wednesday.

“I may be leaving but I am still a Falcon,” Baker said.

Baker said he did not have the time to commit to a full schedule that is required of a head coach going into the future. Baker said it is possible he and his wife will be moving to Illinois in the coming years to be closer to family.

“A new coach would be able to dedicate five to 10 years to creating a program,” Baker said. “I didn’t have that much time and thought it best to give someone else the opportunity.”
He said he decided in the spring that the 2017 season would be his final year with the program, and he informed the Prairie administration of his intentions.

“I love coaching the kids. I felt we had good support across the board,” Baker said.

Jason Castro, Prairie’s athletic director, described Baker as a “high-character guy” and that the school wishes him nothing but the best.

Baker said this was 100 percent his decision to step down from the position.

Prairie just completed a 3-6 season, earning one more win this season than in 2016. The Falcons tied for third place in the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League but lost in the tiebreaker Monday night, missing out on a playoff berth.

Baker was Prairie’s coach for three seasons. He also was the head coach at Battle Ground from 1996 through 2002.

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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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