Niebergall moves on from St. Helens
Brittaney Niebergall has resigned as head coach of the girls basketball program at St. Helens High.
Niebergall, who led the Lions to a 9-16 record last season, informed players of her decision in a message last week.
Before taking over the program last year, Niebergall coached St. Helens' eighth-grade team in 2016 and replaced Billy McKinney as the varsity coach.
Niebergall, also an elementary education teacher, is moving to Sisters to teach kindergarten at Sisters Elementary School this fall. She also is applying for a coaching position at Sisters High and is getting married in December.
"It's bittersweet, because getting the chance to coach at St. Helens as a young coach was a tremendous opportunity," Niebergall said. "I loved every minute of it and each of our players and I'll miss it. But this is an opportunity that I just couldn't pass up."
Niebergall graduated from La Salle Prep in 2011 and was the Class 4A Player of the Year on a Falcons team that finished second in state. In 2010, she was the 2A Player of the Year for Portland Christian.
Niebergall went on to play for Lewis-Clark State in Lewiston, Idaho, and graduated in 2014.
She inherited a Lions program that has a long history of losing. St. Helens went 3-20 in 2017 and had won a total of 15 league games over 13 seasons before Niebergall took over.
The 2018 Lions squad featured a host of underclassmen players.
"I'd say team-wise, we had issues with attitude, drama and basically lack of effort," St. Helens junior-to-be Maddie Holm said. "I definitely think she taught us that the drama isn't necessary and we work best when there's no drama and that commitment is the number one thing."
Holm, a 5-foot-6 guard who averaged more than 20 points per game last season, said the Lions showed continuous improvement under Niebergall.
"The first couple games were rough," she said. "Just getting in the groove with a new coach, but after a couple games when league started, it finally started to click and we got our game together. From there, we got better every game."
St. Helens was expected to begin a full search for Niebergall's replacement immediately.