Meet Heather Roberts, Yamhill Carlton's new boys varsity basketb - KPTV - FOX 12

Meet Heather Roberts, Yamhill Carlton's new boys varsity basketball coach

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She's thought to be the first female head coach of a varsity boys program in the Oregon high school ranks since the mid-1930s. 

FOX 12 went to Yamhill to meet the new queen of the Yamhill Carlton High School Tigers. 

After making coaching stops leading the girls’ programs in Ashland, Sprague, Canby and at Lakeridge, Heather Roberts packed gym bag and clipboard across the country the past four seasons to lead the women's program at Division III Southern Virginia University. 

Now with her twin sons nearing high school age, it was time to ditch bi-coastal life and get rooted back home to Oregon. 

Hoops are life for Roberts – not even childbirth slowed down the mom of five when she was climbing the coaching ranks. 

“I had practice on Dec. 6, then got induced on Dec. 7, then four days later I was back in the gym. I was insane,” she said. “I was insane.” 
After more than two decades of coaching on her resume, the Crescent Valley High and Oregon State alum is back in the Beaver state in the orange and black of Yamhill Carlton. 

“We didn't know Yamhill and Carlton were two towns, so now we do,” Roberts said. 

The 49-year-old dean of the Yamhill Carlton Intermediate School goes down as the first woman to coach a boys’ varsity squad in Oregon in more than 70 years. 

“I started putting it out there last year, just talking to everyone just to normalize it because I know it hasn't happened a lot,” Roberts said. 

No need to normalize – Roberts is more than qualified for leading either gender. 

“I could tell some people didn't think it was a good idea and other people were like, ‘Oh, I wouldn't have a problem with hiring a woman’ so I kept talking about it and talking about it,” Roberts said. “The more I talked about it, it made it seem more normal, why can't I coach boys?' 

The Tigers’ program last won a state title in 1992 and hasn't been to state in 11 years. 

“I feel like I am the right coach for this program,” Roberts said. “I feel like I can do just as well with boys that a man can do, just like certain men coaches that are really good with girls.” 

Coach Roberts has the Tigers on the chase. 

“She makes us run,” said Decker Richmond.  

“I was worried about the boys not listening to her,” said Derek Long Jr. When asked if that has been an issue, he said no. 

Up-tempo, full court and man-to-man. 

“Hopefully we get somewhere, somewhere good,” said Rey Risch Jr. 

Yamhill Carlton hoops is moving somewhere good next winter – across the parking lot from their 1965 gym to tip-off in the Tiger Dome, a school bond funded 21,000-square-foot concrete structure that will house 800 seats, two full locker rooms and a weight room. 

“A lot of people have been really congratulatory about the job and they seem to be excited so supposedly we will have a lot of fans next year, they all said they'd come,” said Roberts. 

Yamhill Carlton will drop down to the 3A ranks next school year. 

Roberts’ twin sons, Malachi and Moroni, will be in the eighth grade and hooping it up for mom, if they can make the cut, in 2020. 

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