Ryan Carpenter moves into a split position between Vice Principal and Athletics Director duties

by: ESTACADA NEWS: FILE PHOTO - Carpenter led the Rangers to a share of the Tri-Valley Conference baseball title and the programs first playoff appearance in 15 years last spring. The Estacada School District has announced that Ryan Carpenter has been named high school athletic director. Carpenter replaces interim athletic director Brigham Baker who accepted the A.D. job at Lake Oswego High.

Carpenter served as vice principal last year and has been the head baseball coach for the past five years. The district elected to combine the roles of vice principal and athletic director which is unconventional, but not unheard of for a school of Estacada’s size. The unorthodox move could only happen with someone like Carpenter.

Carpenter’s broad coaching resume makes him the perfect fit for this dual rule. His background is in baseball, but he has coached several different sports since diving into the education system. He got his start in John Day where he was girls’ basketball head coach. He also coached the junior varsity boys’ and girls’ soccer squads, as well as the varsity baseball club.

When Carpenter joined the staff at Estacada as head baseball coach, he assisted boys’ basketball coach Kevin Kirchhofer and served as the defensive coordinator of the football team.

“I’ve got a pretty decent working relationship with all of the other coaches who are currently coaching here. We have a great group of people who work very hard for each other,” Carpenter said. “I think my coaching experience will help me and will allow me to have a competent conversation about what is going on. Most importantly, my wife gave me the thumbs up, so I have felt very supported through this whole process.”

As the new head of the athletic department, Carpenter has one primary goal.

“I want to focus on helping coaches and working for coaches,” Carpenter said. “Some of the best athletic directors I have worked for have been servants to coaches. I want to be able to serve coaches in every way possible.”

In addition to making life easier for his coaches, Carpenter hopes to “fly the Estacada flag” in the community. He wants the community to be tuned in with the good things happening at the high school.

By accepting the position, Carpenter had to resign as baseball coach. That forced him to think twice about making the jump. Taking the offer puts him in a better position to attain his ultimate goal as an educator, though that didn’t make it any easier to walk away.

“It has probably been one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make,” Carpenter said. “I have an amazing group of kids in the baseball program who I love very much. There are some great families who I have built relationships with, and stepping away from that is the toughest thing.

“At the end of the day, my priority is to someday become a high school principal. The most responsible thing for me is to focus on being a vice principal and athletic director. The kids deserve a coach who is able to give the time and energy necessary, and I didn’t feel like I could do that.”

The blow of stepping away from baseball is softened by the fact that Carpenter will be at the forefront of choosing his replacement. He is excited to find a high-caliber coach to take over the program.

Whoever Carpenter and the Rangers choose to head up the baseball team will have some big shoes to fill. In his five years, Carpenter turned a perennial bottom feeder into a team that earned a share of the league title in the spring. Under Carpenter, the 2014 Rangers set the school record for wins and qualified for the state tournament for the first time in more than 15 seasons.

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