Longtime Gig Harbor, Washington, coach moving to Prineville to lead high school squad

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Dallas Hutchins goes to the basket for the Cowgirls during the 2019-20 season. Bob Boback, who had good success coaching girls basketball in Washington, is coming out of retirement and moving to Prineville to take the job as head coach.

Bob Boback is coming out of retirement to coach the Crook County girls basketball team.

Crook County High School Athletic Director Rob Bonner recently announced that Boback has been named the new CCHS head girls basketball coach.

Boback replaces Heidi Lea, who resigned at the end of the 2019-2020 year after five years as head coach. Lea compiled a 19-88 overall record and an 8-39 league mark in her years as the head coach.

"Heidi is an asset to the district," Bonner said. "She's a multi-sport coach and she is still working with our athletes for track & field."

Boback, who recently retired, has coached high school basketball for 21 years, including 17 years as the head girls basketball coach at Gig Harbor, Washington.

Boback started his coaching career as the assistant boys basketball coach at Thomas Jefferson High School in Federal Way, Washington.

"I moved to the small town of Gig Harbor and the commute was just too much, so I quit coaching," Boback said. "The girls job in Gig Harbor came open and some parents knew that I had coached and they said 'Why don't you apply for the girls job?' I said, you know, I've never coached girls, but I went in for the interview and they hired me."

While at Gig Harbor Boback won 240 games, reaching the district playoffs each of his last 16 seasons while taking four teams to the state tournament.

"Gig Harbor was in disarray when I took over and I just tried to implement a basic system that will get the most out of our talent and make it fun, because I think high school basketball should be fun," he said. "The main thing is to give girls the opportunity to get as much playing time as possible to get the most out of what we've got."

Boback takes over the program during a time of uncertainty with rules involving COVID-19 restricting practice and out of season game opportunities.

He is in the process of selling his house in Gig Harbor and plans to be in Prineville by the end of the month. Assistant coaches Kersey Booster and Kari Cox have been running open gyms this summer and Boback plans to build on that with more open gym time starting in September.

The OSAA released a new sports calendar for the 2020-2021 school year in early August with basketball season not starting practice until the very end of December and just a seven-week regular season.

"My thought was they will keep doing what they've been doing, and if everything goes according to plan, we will be down there so I would imagine that the first week of September we can get some stuff going and figure out what to do to get the most out of what the situation really is," Boback said. "Everyone is kind of dealing with the same situation, but I'm excited to see what our talent level is."

Boback added that he can't wait to get started.

"I'm retired now, so I was really pleased that they actually gave me an interview because I've been looking for something to do now that I'm retired," he said. "So, this worked out perfect. I'm pretty amped up."

He added that he is excited to move to Prineville and really likes what he has seen of the community.

"It looks like a great community and it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun," he said. "I just look forward to the opportunity. I think it's going to be great. I've always been pretty positive and put in a lot of work. We played seven days a week in the summer and if people want to play they are going to have a place to go to play. I'll be there. I'm just excited to be down there."

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