High school coaching resignations are becoming contagious. West Valley basketball coach Jamie Nilles is the latest to announce his intentions.
Nilles will step down after 11 years as head coach and a 205-70 record. Counting eight years as an assistant, he’s spent the last 19 seasons in coaching.
“Nineteen years, I guess, is a good chunk,” Nilles said. “It kind of flew by, and, yeah, I’m going to miss it.”
Nilles cited personal reasons – the chance to be nearer his daughter Shaniqua for her final two years of high school and to contemplate his educational future.
“Being able to watch and help her are kind of the biggest things,” he said. “And I’m trying to see what the next part of my life is going to be. Is it administration or what?”
Besides teaching and coaching, he already is WV’s activities coordinator – overseeing such non-sport entities such as the Associated Student Body and leadership class.
Shaniqua, a 6-foot sophomore and college prospect, is a three-sport player, this year helping the Eagles to fifth place in State 2A volleyball and third in basketball. She also competes in track and field and travels with club basketball and volleyball teams.
“She wants to go and play out there (in college) and has to make a big jump going from her sophomore to junior and senior years,” Nilles said. “I can see myself obviously doing stuff with my daughter and getting her ready for whatever sport it’s going to be.”
Nilles spent four years assisting at Community Colleges of Spokane, then became assistant to Joe Feist at WV for four more.
After taking over as head coach, the Eagles reached state seven times, placing fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth while in Class 3A.
“There was such a tradition of excellence there you don’t want to be the guy (who ends it),” Nilles said while listing former Eagles coaches. “And after, ‘Whew,’ I wasn’t that guy. There was more pressure to sustain it.”
WV competed in and won titles in the old Border, Greater Spokane and Great Northern leagues. At one point Nilles was part of a 37-game home winning streak.
“The game’s been very good to me,” Nilles said. “And hopefully I’ve been good for the game.”