Class 6A girls hoops — The 10-year coach at Perrydale High School and Chehalem Valley Middle School teacher excited to develop program

Luke Lindell has a clear plan for developing the girls basketball program at Newberg High School.

After all, he’s done it once before, having racked up nearly 200 wins and two state tournament appearances in the past 10 years at Class 1A Perrydale. Lindell

And while that wasn’t what put him over the top in the eyes of NHS Athletic Director Tim Burke and the five-member hiring committee.

“He was so passionate about it, so energetic about it that that’s what I think blew the committee out of the water,” Burke said. “He talked program, he talked relationships and he talked about let’s take this on and get after it and raise our level another step.”

A physical education teacher at Chehalem Valley Middle School for the past nine years, Lindell will succeed Tamie Woginrich, who retired this spring after seven years as head coach.

He began his coaching career in 2002 as an assistant football coach at Perrydale when he was junior at Linfield College.

He then coached the boys junior varsity for two years before taking over the girls program.

“To me, it’s a pattern of success and a high level of expectation for the kids,” Lindell said. “I thought we had that there and we really developed a program over the 10 years. There was continuity and I think continuity and success breed success. We were able to establish that level of success early at Perrydale and it was able to sustain itself over my tenure.”

Lindell built Perrydale’s identity on defense, including full-court pressure when he felt he had the personnel to deploy it, and plans to do the same at Newberg. He said he it took just one practice with the girls to believe that they will buy in.

“You have to establish an identity with a program and I did it at Perrydale with defense,” Lindell said. “It holds you through years when you might not have the best offensive talent. You still stay incredibly competitive if kids commit on the defensive end of the floor. It gives you a chance to win every single night.”

Lindell believes the biggest challenge about transitioning to the 6A level will be establishing the logistics of a program for grades 3-12, but that otherwise, how the game is taught doesn’t change.

The change in scenery, however, does have him feeling rejuvenated.

“It’s a rebirth, almost,” Lindell said. “It’s a great feeling.”

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