Boatwright named Assistant Coach of the Year

After 21 years of coaching, there’s still one thing that Tim Boatwright hasn’t learned to like–and that’s losing.

Boatwright hasn’t been on that side of the win-loss column much during his more than two decades guiding athletes at Sweet Home High School.

Last week, his dedication to the school’s football, wrestling and baseball players was recognized by the Oregon State Coaches Association. Boatwright was named Assistant Coach of the Year, an honor head wrestling coach Steve Thorpe and head football coach Rob Younger says is well deserved.

“This is a great honor for Coach Boatwright,” Coach Thorpe said. “This goes beyond an individual sport.”

Coach Thorpe said Coach Boatwright is “an incredible guy. He really cares about kids. He’s more concerned about a kid’s effort than outcomes. He helps kids focus on doing their best. He’s not afraid to tell them when they aren’t doing their best.”

Boatwright said being nominated for the honor was reward enough.

A Lompoc, Calif., native, Boatwright played football and wrestled at Hancock Community College and the College of Idaho before settling on the football program at Willamette University in Salem.

His first and only teaching, coaching job has been at SHHS.

“At first, I though it would last a couple years,” Coach Boatwright said. “I grew to like it here. With about 9-12 years before I retire, this is where I plan to stay.”

Boatwright has been an assistant coach in both football (17 years) and wrestling (21 years) and coached freshman baseball one season.

For the football squad, Boatwright coached the offensive linemen. On the mats, Boatwright is highly respected by his fellow coaches and athletes. Known as a strict disciplinarian, the grapplers knew they could earn Boatwright’s respect one way–by giving their all.

He was a part of the Husky’s 1987 state football championship and was instrumental in the back-to-back wrestling championships earned in 1998 and 1999.

“I enjoy wrestling a lot, but I’d have to say my favorite sport is football because of the strategy involved,” Coach Boatwright said. “On the other hand, in wrestling, the best man is on the mat. He earns it in the practice room. There are no excuses for the wrestler or his parents.”

Coach Thorpe has wrestled under Coach Boatwright in the early 1980s and served as an assistant coach with him under then head coach Norm Davis. Thorpe said that in the last five years, during his tenure as head coach, Boatwright has “been an incredibly valuable part of our wrestling program. His organization, dedication and commitment to the program has helped me and the wrestling program immensely.”

His efforts for the Sweet Home Mat Club and after season wrestling programs is also valued and appreciated, Coach Thorpe said.

Coach Boatwright has coached 77 state placers including 15 champions and 16 runners-up. The Huskies have compiled a record of 115-19-1 the last five years. Boatwright was named 3A assistant wrestling coach of the year in 1998 and Capital Conference assistant wrestling coach of the year in 2001.

Coach Rob Younger said Coach Boatwright is highly respected by the staff and in the community, “Not only as an outstanding educator but also as a man with strong moral and character qualities. He has strong public relations skills in dealing with staff, parents and community members and the media. His maturity, training and ability to teach, would in my estimation, place in the Top 10 percent of all educators with whom I have been associated.”

SHHS athletic director Larry Johnson said Boatwright is “huge foundation” for the program with which he is involved.

“You need a consistant program in any successful program,” Johnson said.

Boatwright teaches math and physical education.

He and his wife, Jean, have two grown children, Dale and Amy.

The reward in his job is seeing kids grow and overcome obstacles.

“It’s a good feeling when you see a kid overcome something they didn’t think they could,” Coach Boatwright said.

When he isn’t teaching or coaching, Boatwright is an avid fly fisherman. He enjoys plying the waters of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.