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Lowe, who accepted the Lions coaching gig in January, will head to UCLA to coach under Chip Kelly

PMG PHOTO: KEVIN HARDEN - Keanon Lowe (left, with former Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion at the  2014 Oregon Sports Awards) has stepped down from the head coaching job at West Linn High School.After taking the job just five months ago, and never coaching a single snap with the Lions, West Linn head football coach Keanon Lowe has stepped down to accept a collegiate coaching job.

The Oregonian's John Canzano first reported on June 23 that Lowe, a former University of Oregon wide receiver, was leaving West Linn to coach at UCLA under former Oregon coach Chip Kelly.

Lowe came to West Linn after coaching two years at Parkrose High School, where he was also a campus security guard and gained national recognition for disarming a student who had come to the school with a shotgun. In the May 2019 Parkrose incident, Lowe further calmed the situation by hugging the troubled student.

"I would like to thank you for the support and enthusiasm you have given me as the Head Football Coach these last few months. It is with great difficulty that I must inform you that I will be stepping down as the Head Football Coach at West Linn High School," Lowe wrote in an email to West Linn players, parents, fans and staff.

"With the outbreak of Covid-19 and the uncertainty this has caused all of us, this was a career move I could not pass up. Over the course of the last few months, I have enjoyed getting to know your kids," his email continued.

According to the letter, Lowe spoke with Principal Greg Neuman, who said the search for the next leader of Lions football would begin immediately, led by newly appointed Athletic Director Brigham Baker.

When Lowe came on as coach at WLHS, the community was excited to see what he could do with the program. In just two years, he had turned the Parkrose squad into a viable threat, with a winning record and its first playoff win in school history.

"Keanon brings experience, energy and a passion for teaching to our football program," said then-West Linn Athletic Director Mark Horak at the time of his hiring. "Keanon's proven track record, both on the field as a coach and as a mentor to student athletes, stood out during the interview process."

But, with the uncertainty of COVID-19, it's still unknown if there will be a high school football season this fall.

A native of the Portland area, Lowe played at Jesuit High School before his career at Oregon where he won two Pac-12 titles, the 2011 Rose Bowl and played in the 2014 NCAA championship game.

Lowe declined to be interviewed for this article.


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