Saturday, January 28, 2023
Jan. 28, 2023

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Swain named new football coach at Columbia River

He helped turn Roosevelt of Portland into winner

By , Columbian High School Sports Reporter

Christian Swain’s second head coaching position will have a much different beginning than his first.

When he took over at Roosevelt High School in Portland in 2009, there was a national story on just how bad the program had slipped. The school had a losing streak that lasted for seasons before Swain showed up, turned it around, and eventually won a league title in 2013.

Now, Swain is taking over at a perennial winner.

“I’m extremely excited. I’m following in the footsteps of the hall of fame coach who established a very, very healthy culture there,” Swain said.

“I’m excited to be coming into an established program.”

News broke earlier in the week, and it is now official: Swain is the new football coach at Columbia River High School.

Swain takes over for John O’Rourke, who retired in February following 22 seasons. The Chieftains had 19 winning seasons under O’Rourke, nine league titles and 16 postseason appearances.

“Having this opportunity is a great honor for me,” Swain said.

Tony Liberatore, Columbia River’s athletic director, said the school was looking for a coach to fit into a district-wide philosophy that involves so much more than X’s and O’s and wins and losses. It is about character and the ability to build character in the athletes throughout not just the season, but the school year.

Swain said his core covenants include character development, academics, and attitude. His focus is on the entire student-athlete.

“Our team goal (at Roosevelt) has been to graduate with a 3.0 or better and work to our maximum ability every day,” Swain said.

He will expect the same at Columbia River.

“The challenge is me, being the new guy, coming in with new concepts, new ideas,” he said. “Hopefully people will have an open mind and be accepting of me.”

Swain said he has enjoyed his time at Roosevelt but wanted a new challenge.

“From the outside looking in, it’s a very strong program with good administration,” Swain said of Columbia River. “It checked all my boxes for what I felt I needed to be successful.”

Swain said he and his family plan on moving to Clark County.

He wore many hats at Roosevelt as a career coordinator. He expects to be a program specialist working with students at Columbia River, and he will be an on-campus employee.

Columbian High School Sports Reporter