Woodland hires Washougal assistant as boys basketball coach

Jesse Buck excited for his first opportunity to lead a program

Jesse Buck says he is ready for his first head coaching job.

Jesse Buck, who has been an assistant at Washougal, was named the boys basketball coach at Woodland on Friday. Photo courtesy of Jesse Buck
Jesse Buck, who has been an assistant at Washougal, was named the boys basketball coach at Woodland on Friday. Photo courtesy of Jesse Buck

“There will be some growing, of course.  Every good coach will tell you they’re always learning something new,” Buck said Friday afternoon, the day that it was announced he will take over as the boys basketball coach at Woodland High School.

“I’m just ready to get there, get to work, get to know the kids, the commmunity, and build something Woodland is proud of and enjoys to watch.”

Buck, 33, moved from Oklahoma to Southwest Washington in 2016 and has been an assistant coach in the Washougal program for the past three seasons. He is a physical education teacher in the Ridgefield School District.

He called Woodland the perfect fit.

“The blue collar work ethic, scrappiness is very compatible with my coaching philosophy and personality,” Buck said. “The more I learned about Woodland through the interview process, the more sense it made for me. Couldn’t be more excited.”

Paul Huddleston, the athletic director at Woodland, said Buck has a gift for building relationships.

“It became very evident throughout the hiring process that Jesse has a real passion for not only basketball but also developing character in his athletes,” Huddleston said. “Jesse exemplifies the Woodland Way of doing things and will be a great fit here.”

Buck will take over for Andrew Johnson, who coached the Beavers the past three seasons.

Woodland tied for fifth in the seven-team 2A Greater St. Helens League this past winter.

The incoming coach said it is too early for him to make any promises in terms of winning seasons or playoff berths.

“I just want to get to know them, start building relationships with the players,” Buck said. “I want to have an exciting program. I want to have a lot of fun. Expectations, win-loss, we’ll see where we’re at … and set some goals. I want to work to build the program up.”

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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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