Since stepping down from Washougal in 2008, Drake’s worked his way up in school administrative roles mostly in Battle Ground Public Schools but never closed the door on coaching. That includes time as Prairie High’s athletic director and then its principal. Currently, Drake is principal at BGPS’ Laurin Middle School.
Next school year, he’ll move to the district office as Director of Secondary Schools where he’ll oversee Battle Ground and Prairie high schools, and the district’s alternative programs.
While a district administrator as a high school head coach is rare, Drake believes he knows how to best balance his time. He said his background as a high school and middle school principal is “as challenging as it gets.”
“It’ll take some coordinating,” he said, “and I need to make sure I’m doing both jobs well.”
Plus, Drake said he’s back with a different purpose from when he first became a high school head coach at 24. He said he planned to get back into coaching high school basketball once his daughters graduated from River. But when the opportunity to lead a program in the same Hazel Dell community he and his family reside in, it was the perfect scenario.
And what hasn’t changed in the 14 years between head-coaching jobs is the importance of relationships.
“The culture has been established,” he said. “The fact that this isn’t my first coaching job, I don’t feel like I have anything to prove other than the fact I’m the right person to develop these relationships with these kids and leverage those relationships to make this a very consistent, strong program.”