Only one school — and its girls basketball coaching vacancy — could convince Jim Wilmoth to come out of coaching retirement seven months in.
Wilmoth accepted the offer to become Evergreen High School’s next girls basketball head coach this week, extending his Clark County basketball coaching journey that’s lasted 15 seasons as a longtime assistant coach. The hiring is pending school board approval.
Now, he’s a first-time head coach — and coming out of a newly-minted retirement to do so. Back in February, Wilmoth, 60, chose to retire from coaching after local tenures at Evergreen, Mountain View, and most recently, Battle Ground. He wanted to shift focus on coaching his fourth-grade grandsons. In fact, Battle Ground’s junior-varsity players threw Wilmoth a retirement celebration after coaching his final JV game this past winter.
“I was done and ready to give it up,” Wilmoth said, “and take it back to the beginning with the little guys.”
But those little guys gave grandpa their blessing. Wilmoth calls Evergreen, “the right place for me.”
“This is the one job that would make me reconsider,” he said.
Wilmoth, who works in the medical field at Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Medical Center, is Evergreen’s third head coach in three seasons. Next week is when Wilmoth said he plans to meet his new team in-person. The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s out-of-season coaching window is Sept. 28-Nov. 30.
“I have everything ready I want to do,” Wilmoth said. “I’m ready to go, and I’m the same way with the season.”
Evergreen is the second 3A Greater St. Helens League school to fill a girls basketball vacancy this off-season. Last month, Prairie named Mike Smith, as its next coach. Smith also coached the Falcons in 2012-13.
KING’S WAY, WOODLAND NAME SOCCER COACHES: Two new head soccer coaches were announced last week by area athletic directors. Tommy King is Woodland’s new boys soccer coach and King’s Way hired Jodel Wright to be its next girls soccer coach and director of soccer.