Clatskanie Middle/High School Athletic Director and Dean of Students Ryan Tompkins has announced the school has hired two new coaches.
Amanda Baker, Girls Volleyball
Amanda Baker will replace former coach, Heather Strong as girls volleyball coach. Baker is a Clatskanie resident, who spent her middle/high school year playing for Clatskanie and Cowlitz Volleyball Club in Longview. Baker graduated from Clatskanie Middle/High School, where she played volleyball under former coach, Tina Edwards. She went on to star at Yakima Valley Community College for two years.
As a coach, she has helped with volleyball at many levels. She coached Club Ball in Yakima, was the varsity coach at Jewell HS (2000) and served as an assistant in Clatskanie from 2002-2004. Since then, she had been raising her family and coaching her children’s teams as they grew up: soccer, baseball, softball and volleyball. In 2019, she was a Middle School Volleyball coach for Clatskanie.
Amanda said she feels that this is the perfect time for her.
“I look forward to stepping into the more competitive world of high school athletics and assisting these young student athletes in finding their way in the real world," she said. “I've had over 25 years of experience in the sport but I’m still learning. The game is still changing.”
“Amanda will be a great fit in our program," Tompkins said. "She has an enthusiasm for volleyball and a desire to work with our young women to make them better athletes and people. She has a lot of familiarity with our school, the sport and the girls on the team. Her dedication and a desire, will no doubt, to continue to grow the program.”
Deshaun Combs, Boys Basketball
Clatskanie High School has also hired Deshaun Combs as its new boys’ basketball coach for 2020-2021 to replace Kim Rogers. Deshaun previously assisted with JV boys basketball from 2006-2017 and was the Head Boys Basketball coach in 2018-19. In that year, the Tigers won the league championship and placed 7th in State.
In 2019-20, Deshaun stepped down as the Boys Basketball Coach as a result of a domestic dispute arrest that occurred in July 2019.
“I used that time to deal with family and to work on myself [counseling and classes]," he said. "In that time, of working on myself, I’ve learned a lot of valuable life lessons and what family means to me I’ve grown to be a better man and father.”
When asked how he can be a positive influence on kids, despite what’s happened, he stated, “My inspiration to kids is that they need to learn from their mistakes and move forward. To grow into being better young men. It’s not ok to react to anger, and to learn to stop... think… breathe… and walk away”
“As a school, we use restorative practices with our students; not simply punishing them, but helping them make it right," Tompkins said. "In a similar way, we attempt to support our staff. We support Deshaun and feel he has taken (and will continue to take) the appropriate steps to return to this position.”
In addition to coaching, Deshaun has been the Head Custodian of Clatskanie Middle/High School since 2017.
Tompkins said Clatskanie currently has an opening for a Varsity Football Coach. If interested, please visit https://clatskanie.tedk12.com/hire/index.aspx.