COQUILLE — One of the most successful eras in any sport on the South Coast in recent years has come to an end.
Tim GeDeros has stepped down as girls basketball coach at Coquille High School after a run that included trophies at the state tournament each of the past five years to cap a run of nine seasons with winning records.
But it’s not all the wins, including a combined 127-22 record those five years, that will stand out to GeDeros.
“I enjoyed every minute of it,” he said. “I met a lot of hard-working, very gifted, interesting girls. It was fun being the old guy hanging out with them.”
He also had a chance to coach both his daughter, Taylor, and his niece, Carlee, during their Coquille careers and to coach with his younger brother, Tyler.
With Carlee graduated this year, GeDeros feels it’s time for someone else to take over a program that returns several solid players from the squad that finished fourth at this year’s Class 2A state tournament, ideally a teacher who can interact with the students in the school building every day — GeDeros is a contractor.
“They need some younger people in there coaching,” he said. “Somebody who is really energetic and gung-ho.”
GeDeros got his first taste of coaching years ago when his oldest son Colby was first playing youth basketball.
“That’s how I started — coaching Heston (Altenbach) and Colby,” he said. “We had nine boys and Taylor would be the 10th, so we could scrimmage. It worked out real well.”
GeDeros later coached the eighth-grade team for two years and then was the high school junior varsity coach an assistant for Jennifer Sproul for two years before Sproul stepped down to spend more time with her young sons after her own lengthy tenure that included several state tournament trips — the school’s first in girls basketball since the 1970s.
That opened the door for GeDeros to become head coach at the same time Taylor was working her way through the high school.
“I hadn’t really planned on (coaching Taylor),” he said. “I enjoyed it. We always had a really good relationship dynamic when we were together. She gave you everything she had.”
Taylor was one of the top Red Devils in recent memory and, like her father, extremely competitive.
“She would come home from a game and look at the film, win or loss, and break it down before I even had a chance to look at it,” GeDeros said.
Some of the losses were tough to take, especially close ones that denied the Red Devils trips to the state tournament Taylor’s final two years. But GeDeros found value in setbacks during the season, especially in years when Coquille didn’t have many of them.
“You learn more after a loss than after a win, especially if it was a tight loss,” he said. “You know what you need to change. You learn what your weaknesses are after you lose. Next time you go in, you work harder.”
The past few years, Coquille turned a couple of losses around, beating those teams in the state tournaments.
The first one came against Nyssa in Coquille’s final year in Class 3A. The Red Devils lost to the Bulldogs in a regular-season tournament, but then beat Nyssa in the fourth-place game at the state tournament.
Then-senior team leader McKenna Wilson was upset about the team’s effort in that game, GeDeros recalled.
“That woke us up where we started practicing really hard,” he said. “I remember a practice where we just ran and ran and ran. I hardly ever do that. And I remember after that practice, McKenna said, ‘I like you now.’
“After that we played a lot better.”
During the 2018-19 season, the Red Devils had their only regular-season loss in overtime at top-ranked Kennedy.
GeDeros told his players to keep their heads up after that setback.
“I told them, if we play (like that) on a neutral court, we beat them.”
Sure enough, the Red Devils beat the Trojans in the semifinals at the state tournament, only to lose by one point in the championship game to Heppner.
“I wish the championship game had come out different,” he said.
But that’s not the tournament loss that stings most to him.
Instead, he points back to a game in 2017 against top-ranked Dayton when the Red Devils led the entire first half before falling behind under a flurry of whistles in the second half.
“I really thought we were the better team,” GeDeros said.
But Coquille was called for 14 fouls in the second half and Dayton made 15 of 17 free throws the final two periods, including two that gave the Pirates the lead going into the fourth quarter after a whistle on a half-court shot at the third-period buzzer and other fouls that led to several key players getting limited minutes in the game. In contrast, Dayton was called for just seven fouls in the second half and Coquille attempted just four free throws.
GeDeros won’t look back on the negatives, though, instead cherishing the positives, including coaching his niece the past four seasons.
“She gave you everything she’s got,” he said. “She wasn’t vocal at all. She gave you 110 percent in the games.”
When Willy Layton, who had been the assistant, took over the boys program GeDeros then got a chance to coach with his brother, Carlee’s dad.
“Coaching with Ty was great,” he said. “It was a lot of fun. We got to spend more time together.”
The two families get together often, but coaching meant the brothers spent part of every day with each other.
“It worked really well,” GeDeros said. “I would focus on the game, he would focus on the players. He would do the substituting.”
The other key partner through all the coaching years was Tim’s wife, Crystal.
“She was always the team mom,” he said. “The girls just totally got spoiled with her.
“She’s going to miss it more than I’m going to miss it.”
Crystal didn’t disagree with that assessment.
“I am definitely going to miss the girls and the relationships with the parents,” she said.
Crystal would decorate the team lockers and plan other fun activities, especially on trips to tournaments, as well as coordinating team dinners with the other parents.
“I got pleasure seeing them light up and enjoy it,” she said. “It made me keep wanting to do it. Especially senior night. That was my favorite.”
Like her husband, she gained a great appreciation for the girls.
“I just get to know them and it’s special,” she said. “I think student athletes are amazing.”
While Tim and Crystal might miss basketball come this winter, they are looking forward to more free time. While their youngest son, Colton, still lives in the area, Colby and Taylor are both in Bend.
“We’re hoping to see the kids in Bend a little more,” Tim said. “Going and seeing them and getting away was impossible during the basketball season.”
Now they can practice what he preached to his players.
“I had one rule with them,” he said. “Have fun.”