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Former Canby coach accepts coaching job at daughter's school

Heather Roberts will coach the women's basketball team at Southern Virginia University. Micah Roberts is on the women's tennis team.


Former Canby women’s basketball coach Heather Roberts traveled to Southern Virginia University over spring break simply to reunite with her daughter Micah for the first time in months and watch her compete for the school’s tennis team. However, by the time she left, she had a new job as the SVU women’s basketball coach and her family had a new home in Virginia.

While out to dinner with Micah, a 2013 Canby alumna, and women’s tennis coach Deidra Dryden, Dryden urged her to apply for the position. She gave it a shot, impressed the interviewer with her experience and personality, and won the job.

Roberts isn’t trying to cramp her daughter’s style, she just saw a golden opportunity and decided to cash in.

“When it came down to it, I’m not getting any younger. I’ve coached high school for 22 years in Oregon. I didn’t know if this opportunity would ever come,” Heather said.

Many adventurous college kids would cringe at the thought of their parents moving in so close just one year after breaking free from their reign.

However, Micah is happy for her mom and even encouraged Heather to apply for the position.

“I’m excited. I think it’ll be a good experience for her. It is a little weird but it won’t be that weird because they won’t be living with me,” she said.

In 2012, Heather stepped down as Canby’s head coach after six seasons. She previously coached at Ashland and Lakeridge for five years each. In her high school career, she won 264 games and achieved 14 playoff appearances and at Canby, her teams made the playoffs every year.

With such vast experience coaching in the state of Oregon, Heather is very well connected.

“I have very established roots here,” she said.

And now that she’s locked into the Virginia program, she hopes to bring more Pacific Northwest natives back East.

“This is an untapped area for Southern Virginia. I would love to get some more Northwest kids out there,” she said.

Besides, there’s not a lot she can do except recruit this time of year. Division III rules prohibit coaches from holding practices with current players until October.

“I can give them workouts. I can’t monitor them or work with them,” she said.

Heather says recruiting is the most important aspect of her job, but being a high school coach for so long, she’s never hiked the recruiting trail before.

“I’ve never done it but I enjoy talking with people and being with people. I’ve got a pretty strong personality,” she said.

Heather likely couldn’t have come to the university at a better time.

Just last year, Southern Virginia officially became a Division III school. Plus, Heather became the second full-time head coach at the University and now, the school has three coaches working full-time.

“They’re moving toward making sports more of an emphasis,” Heather said.

Heather is bringing along her two nine-year-old sons, her 19-year old-son and her husband. Heather says her husband views the move as a “new adventure” and because he owns his own business, where he audits clothing factories, he’s fairly flexible.

However, her two nine-year-olds aren’t particularly ecstatic about the move.

“They aren’t excited because they will miss their friends. On a scale of 1-10 they are up to two, but they are excited to have access to a college gym all the time,” Heather said.

Along with unlimited gym access, the Roberts family will get to cheer on their daughter, who finished 8-10 in singles and 10-10 in doubles her freshman year while playing two, three and four singles, on a regular basis.

Micah said: “This year they will be able to watch me play a lot more so that’s exciting.”




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