The Keanon Lowe era of West Linn football begins now.
West Linn High School announced Wednesday, Jan. 29, that it had hired Lowe as its new head football coach. Lowe succeeds Chris Miller as Lions' head coach; Miller finished his six-year stint as head coach at the end of the 2019 season, leaving to become the offensive coordinator of the Houston Roughnecks in the newly reformed XFL.
"I am excited to get started as the next head coach at West Linn High School," Lowe said. "This is an awesome opportunity and I'm ready to accept the challenge of continuing the success in the classroom and on the field at West Linn."
"Keanon brings experience, energy and a passion for teaching to our football program," said West Linn Athletic Director Mark Horak. "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."
Lowe, 27, comes to West Linn off two seasons as head coach at Parkrose High School. During his tenure at Parkrose, he led the Broncos to a 12-7 overall record and the first playoff victory in school history (a 59-20 win over Lebanon in the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs in 2019).
Lowe, who worked as a campus security guard at Parkrose, also gained national acclaim when he tackled and disarmed a 19-year-old student who had come to school armed with a shotgun. After taking the gun away from the student, Lowe further diffused the incident by hugging the young man, incidents that were caught on the school's security cameras and eventually shared across the country.
Lowe's actions led to national media appearances in multiple venues (on ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Good Morning America and many others), and later, Lowe being named one of Time magazine's heroes of 2019.
Lowe, a graduate of Jesuit High School, also starred at the University of Oregon where he played wide receiver from 2011-2014. During his Ducks career, he totaled 891 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Lowe won two Pac-12 titles during his days at Oregon, including a Rose Bowl win in 2011, a Fiesta Bowl win in 2012 and a National Championship appearance in 2014. Prior to coaching at Parkrose, Lowe worked as an offensive analyst with the San Francisco 49ers.
Now, he'll set about the task of continuing the success Miller built with the Lions. Miller led the Lions for six seasons and took the team to at least the Class 6A state quarterfinals each year, including a state championship-game appearance in 2015 and the school's lone football state championship in 2016.
In total, Miller's teams went 29-9 in the Three Rivers League and Special District 5, 60-16 overall and won one TRL title.
Lowe said he can't wait to get started.
"Everyone has spoken highly of the students, administration, faculty and community members," he said. "I can't wait to get started and meet everyone. Looking forward to building a football program the community can continue to be proud of."
Horak said that Lowe was selected from an impressive candidate pool following a thorough interview process.
"We're incredibly grateful to announce that Keanon Lowe will be the next football coach at West Linn High School," he said. "We are incredibly appreciative of the positive winning culture that coach Miller established during his time at West Linn High School and we're tremendously excited to welcome Keanon Lowe to our program."
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