Familiar face in a new place

Jon Erickson joins the girls basketball team this year as the interim head coach after four years of experience coaching basketball.

Entering his first season as the interim head coach of the girls basketball team, Jon Erickson brings with him a wealth of experience in other sports. With the addition of basketball to his schedule, Erickson will be the only Estacada coach to have a head coaching position in all three seasons (cross country, basketball and track). Despite all of that on his plate, Erickson found the time to chat with us about his background and what his plans are for this season.

EN: Tell us a little about yourself and your basketball coaching background.

JE: I am a history teacher at the high school. I am the head coach for cross country (two years) and track and field (11 years) at the high school. I have coached basketball at the youth and junior high level for 12 years and have been a part of the high school program for the past four. I coached freshmen one year, and JV two years, and was the assistant varsity coach last year. This is my first stint as a head coach.

EN: As the cross country and track coach, how does that help you in basketball?

JE: Being able to understand athletes is probably the greatest strength I have from coaching other sports. Recognizing the vast amount of things that athletes are involved in is important, and having been around this helps me understand where kids are. Of course, getting in shape and making them strong is a bonus with a background in running.

EN: What do you like more or less about coaching inside a gym with basketball as opposed to the other two sports?

JE: Weather! No decisions have to be made about having practice due to weather inside. It's a constant temperature. I like that. The team aspect is different also. There is individuality to track and cross country, but basketball they have to be working together to achieve success. You are challenged with fitting pieces together that work and will execute efficiently to be competitive in games.

EN: What does it mean that you're an 'interim' head coach this season?

JE: I applied for the head coach job with the possible intention of handing back to Coach Lupo next season if he chooses to come back. His family has expanded, which led to him stepping down. I don't really know if the interim title will stay or not. That is dependent on Coach Lupo's discussion with me at the end of the season. I just don't know the future.

EN: What do you like to stress outside of strictly basketball skills?

JE: I believe that efficiency and execution are vital. I repeat every day the need to be efficient and execute, and that these will lead to successful games for them. I have also stressed the need for them to be a 'team.' They need to rely on one another, and that hard work by all of them will make relying on one another easier.

EN: Any major changes to the program with you in charge?

JE: No major changes. Coach Lupo has built a very strong program and I intend to maintain that. Changing offenses that fit the players I have this season is the biggest change.

EN: What is your best advice to a young basketball player with the goal of eventually playing at the high school level?

JE: My advice would be to play as many games as possible. The more experience they have, the easier the transition to high school basketball. I also would tell athletes to get involved in multiple sports. The most successful athletes tend to be those who have experience in a variety of athletics. They all connect and you should never limit yourself.

EN: What do you like to do in your free time?

JE: I like to golf. I am not good by any means, but I love getting out there and playing. I also spend plenty of time reading, and playing the guitar. With all the sports I am involved in, I believe these are excellent downtime activities.