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New Lakers AD already in motion


Brigham Baker's involved in hiring and is reaching out to staff and coaches

by: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Brigham Bakers contract as the athletic director of Lake Oswego High School officially starts in August, but hes already meeting people and hiring staff.Coach Brigham Baker has a history of bringing out the best in football players.

While serving as tight end coach and graduate assistant at Western Oregon University, Baker mentored Kevin Boss, who later went on to be a Super Bowl champion. In 2007, just one year after graduating from WOU with his master’s degree, Baker helped the Estacada High School football program go from an 0-10 record to an 8-3 record. The following year, he took his team to the state semifinals and was named Capital Conference Coach of the Year.

But what Baker considers his greatest accomplishment is taking a team of strong but not star players to the state semifinals in 2010.

“As a coaching staff, we were able to convince the kids that teamwork is the dream work,” Baker says.

Now, he’s bringing that philosophy to Lake Oswego.

Baker, who last year was named athletic director of the Estacada School District, will take over the AD role at Lake Oswego High School. His contract doesn’t begin until Aug. 4, but he already has been reaching out to staff and coaches and conducting interviews, LOHS Principal Cindy Schubert says.

“Brigham emerged as the perfect candidate to build on Lake Oswego’s athletic success,” Schubert says of the interview process. “What stood out was his high integrity, his work ethic, his energy level.”by: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Principal Cindy Schubert, left, pauses to smile with the new athletic director, Brigham Baker, at her side.

Baker, 33, replaces outgoing Athletic Director Mark Horak, who stepped down after seven years with the Lakers to be the AD at West Linn High School while he pursues an administrator license.

Baker, who lives in Beaverton with his wife, Claire, and their 1-year-old son, says he already knows well the heart of an athletic director’s job.

“I think the most important thing in my role is one of service, to serve the students at the high school,” he says.

Baker says there are a few challenges ahead, including upgrades to the athletic facilities and projects such as developing a new athletic apparel store. For now, he’s working on getting everything in place for the 2014-15 school year and on making sure he has the right staff in place.

Baker has already hired Kevin Ruble as the Lakers’ new girls basketball coach. Ruble, a retired U.S. Air Force captain and married father of five, served in the first Gulf War and also was stationed in Somalia in 1993. He worked in Beaverton for three years as the assistant girls coach, and, though he’s also coached boys, he says there’s something special about leading a girls team.

“Girls, if they believe in what it is you’re teaching, they will buy into you, and they will work harder,” says Ruble, 44.

Baker complimented Ruble’s energy and openness, even taking the time to watch him coach before making his decision. “He has a true passion for basketball,” Baker says.

Baker himself shares that passion for athletics, but Estacada athletic department secretary Dee Conrad says that what really makes him good at what he does is not just his passion, his student-centric approach and his knowledge of all levels of athletics, but also his sense of fairness.

No matter if a student’s wonderful or difficult, Baker strives to treat them all equally, Conrad says.

“What he will do for one student, he will do for another,” she says. “He’s very, very fair. I appreciate that.”