Banks' Roche accepts boys basketball job at Forest Grove
Marcus Roche has been named the new boys varsity basketball coach at Forest Grove High School.
The now former head basketball coach at Banks High School will succeed Greg Evers who stepped down from the position at the end of the 2020-21 season.
Roche, who teaches physical education at Forest Grove High, takes the reins of the Vikings after three seasons as the head coach at Gaston and six coaching the Braves.
At Banks, he took over a last place team and earned a state playoff appearance in his second year at the helm, leading the Braves to a school-best fourth place finish at the state tournament. In his third season Banks lost in the state semi-final, but rebounded a year later, winning a state championship with a 62-56 win over league rival Seaside in the state final. In all, Roche accumulated a 111-36 record at the 4A school.
After successful tenures at both the 2A and 4A levels, now the coach will tackle the state's highest classification, which he sees as a fun and interesting challenge, but at the same time not something he actively sought.
"I don't think I ever needed it, but I am excited about this being the top level and we'll be playing against the top programs and big schools in the state," Roche said. "I've definitely got a lot to learn, so I'm excited to dive into the scheme side of what the 6A is all about."
While the challenge is appealing, Roche said it was really the opportunity to be in the building with his players on a day-to-day basis that truly attracted him to the position.
"I'm excited to finally coach in a building that I'm teaching," he said. "I've been teaching at Forest Grove for 13 years and to have the ability to connect to the kids on a bigger level, see them in the classrooms and hallways, that's a major piece of this. It's important to trying to build something for the long term."
The coach said he's not all that familiar with the existing Vikings personnel, but added that while he has a system, he's also a proponent of building that system around the strengths of the team. He said that current assistant Jay Mercer will be staying on, which Roche said is a "huge pickup," and that together with the rest of his staff they'll begin familiarizing themselves with the team in the coming weeks.
While excited to start the process at Forest Grove, Roche also said doing so is bittersweet due to what he's leaving behind in Banks.
"It's difficult leaving there," he said. "It's exciting to have this opportunity, but it's never a good time to leave. I think that's a special place. The parents, community and administration are amazing out there and I wish them continued success. The hardest thing is leaving those players."
And what will he remember most about his time at Banks?
"That 2019 year was a really special year," Roche said. "Those kids, and really all the kids out there really bought-in to what we were trying to do. We were able to have a lot of success and it was just fun to be a part of."
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