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Woodburn School District selects new athletic director


Photo Credit: COURTESY OF WOODBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT - Woodburn athletic director Chad WaplesThe Woodburn School District announced its selection to take over as athletic director heading into the 2014-15 school year.

Chad Waples was announced Wednesday as the replacement for former Woodburn athletic director Casey Woolley who took a job as district human resources director in the district office. As athletic director, Waples will oversee oversee athletic programs at the elementary, middle and high schools in Woodburn.

“I’m excited about the opportunity,” Waples said. “I love what I’ve heard about the people, and I’m excited about the direction that the district wants to go.”

Waples was a former health and physical education teacher, head baseball coach and assistant football coach at Gresham High School, where he has worked for the past nine years.

He graduated from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix with a master’s degree in administration in 2008, but didn’t feel the urge to immediately seek out an administrative position.

“I wasn’t really necessarily ready to go away from the teaching and coaching stuff. I was still having fun,” he said. “But after 15 years, I decided this spring to look at opportunities in administration.”

The position in Woodburn appealed to Waples due to his heavy background in athletics. He graduated from Montana State University with a Bachelor's degree in K-12 health and physical education with a coaching emphasis.

“My first contract was as a JV head basketball coach in Montana,” Waples said.

He coached junior high track and field in Montana before coming to Oregon where he taught and coached football and baseball at Madison High School in Portland.

Waples continued his career as head baseball coach at Wilsonville High School before moving over to Gresham in 2005.

He sees his first year as something of a period of transition as he works himself into the new job and learns the direction of the coaches on the Woodburn staff.

“I think this year is going to be about meeting people and a little bit of observation, being the new guy on the block,” Waples said.

Waples is a welcome addition to the Woodburn School District staff, said Woolley in a press release.

“He has an ability to look at things systemically that will really benefit the position that is responsible for athletics program from the elementary levels through high school," Woolley said. "He brings perspective from his past experience developing sports programs that will enable him to reach out to our community and reestablish youth programs.”