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Ted Yates is back at the helm

The longtime Gladstone educator returns as head coach in basketball


by: JOHN DENNY - Ted YatesTed Yates, who has “retired” as Gladstone High School’s boys basketball coach three times, is hoping that the fourth time will be a charm.

The longtime Gladstone educator and coach has taken over the Gladstone boys basketball program — for the fourth time.

Yates, 56, was head boys basketball coach at Gladstone for nine seasons, beginning in 1983. He left in 1992 so that he and his wife could run a family business.

Yates returned for the 1995-96 season, but left after one year to become principal at Portland Christian.

He returned to head up Gladstone boys basketball again — for five seasons — in 2003, but left in 1008 so that he could watch his sons play basketball at Multnomah University.

He’s coached high school basketball at some level — for all but four seasons — since his first high school coaching job at Vale in 1979.

“The timing was just right for me [to return],” said Yates, a longtime math teacher at Gladstone High School. “My sons are through playing [basketball]. There was this situation where I knew there wasn’t going to be anybody in the building with the ability to take it on, and I feel it’s important to have a coach on campus....

“The reason I keep coming back to Gladstone, and what has never changed, is the way I feel about the student body. We’ve always had great kids.”

Although it won’t happen overnight — Yates says he has only two returning varsity lettermen, including just one returning starter — Yates says he hopes to make the Gladiators title contenders.

“It’s my goal to have the strongest program we can,” he said. “We have some retooling, rebuilding to do. But eventually my expectations are to contend for the league title.”

Yates said he has no plans to “retire” from coaching a fourth time any time soon.

“I still am passionate about it,” he said. “I plan to continue until I feel like I’m no longer effective as a coach.”

Yates doesn’t know his teams’ career loss records, although he says he has well over 200 career wins in 15 years as a head coach at Gladstone.

“I haven’t kept track of wins and losses, because that’s not what’s most important to me,” Yates said. “My main goal is to develop young men of character....”

Yates had teams qualify for state tournaments in 1986, 1988, 1991 and 1992, and his Gladiators placed fourth at state in 1988. They were league champions or co-champions in 1986, 1988 and in 1992.

Yates still recalls many of the young men who played on his most successful teams, including Brad Crosby, Jay Caba, Jon Levine, Paul Branlund and Dan Youngren from 1985-96; Jess Riley, Dennis Allen, Matt Taylor, Jim Boen and Steve Bennett from 1987-88; and Mike Hermens, Braden Burland, Andy Long, Steve Keller, Brent Pennick, Tim Lundgren and Kent Jones from his teams in the early 1990’s.

Yates has retained Rick Priester — who has been a part of Gladstone basketball for over three decades — as jayvee coach and varsity assistant.

He’s named 2004 Gladstone graduate David Duong as freshmen coach, and Rob Hill and Neil Bayha as assistants.

The Gladiators were to begin preseason play Tuesday (Dec. 4), hosting Roosevelt.