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Tuesday, June 6, 2023
June 6, 2023

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Oberg steps down as Washougal basketball coach

Girls basketball coach led Panthers to state last 2 years

By , Columbian High School Sports Reporter

The Washougal girls basketball program, coming off of back-to-back appearances at the Class 2A state tournament, is in need of a new coach.

Brian Oberg resigned Monday after four years seasons as the head coach, after helping the Panthers into one of the top teams in the county.

A business owner, Oberg said new projects associated with work will interfere with the schedule of a basketball coach.

“I didn’t feel I could uphold the demand for the kids,” Oberg said. “They deserve every bit of attention and structure they can get. I want to make sure we give everybody the time and respect needed to run a program.”

He said he has talked to a number of players about his decision.

“It was very, very, very difficult … but they all understand,” Oberg said.

A 1992 graduate of Washougal High School, Oberg has coached a number of sports at various levels for more than 20 years.

And it was special to help lead his hometown school to the state tournament.

“It was a goal from the get-go to get the program back to recognition and prominence,” Oberg said. “I had a lot of talent handed to me and a great network of parents who got the kids to where they were at. I took the reigns and guided it, and it all worked out.”

Oberg noted that coaching is a passion of his and that he is one who loves to break down the game, find a way to stop the other team’s best player. All that coach-speak.

“Truth be told, though, when you’re handed the talent I was handed, it makes life a little bit easier.”

In 2015-16, seniors Alyssa Blankenship and RaeAnne Allen, along with then freshman Beyonce Bea, earned a fourth-place trophy at the Class 2A state tournament.

This winter, the Panthers returned to state. Bea was the 2A Greater St. Helens League’s player of the year and freshman Mason Oberg — the coach’s daughter — was a first-team, all-leaguer who led the team in scoring at the state tournament.

So Brian Oberg is stepping down as the coach but will be at as many games as he can next season.

“Washougal is where it all happened for me, shaped me,” Brian Oberg said. “It’s been a joy to be part of it.”

Columbian High School Sports Reporter