Sports

McLeod steps down as OHHS girls basketball coach

Brett McLeod watches on while the girls basketball team competes. - Jim Woolbright / Whidbey News-Times
Brett McLeod watches on while the girls basketball team competes.
— image credit: Jim Woolbright / Whidbey News-Times

Brett McLeod, who led the Oak Harbor High School girls basketball team to six playoff appearances in eight years, has resigned as the varsity coach.

McLeod began his stint as the Wildcat coach in 2003 and immediately helped Oak Harbor earn a berth in the post season. His clubs also reached the playoffs in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Overall, his teams compiled a 102-76 record.

Prior to taking over the varsity, he led the Oak Harbor freshman team for three years. He also served as an assistant football and soccer coach for several years in Oak Harbor and was the JV boys basketball coach for two years at Yelm before moving to Whidbey Island.

McLeod said his favorite seasons were 2008 and 2009.

He said, “That senior class in 2008 really committed to basketball throughout their playing career and came as close as possible to making it to state. They deserved to go because they put in the time and were passionate about basketball.

“The 2009 season was fun because we had a team that really came together and got better and better as the season progressed, beat No. 1 seed Jackson at the end at their place in the playoffs, beat Edmonds-Woodway later and went as far as they could.”

He said one of the favorite parts of his coaching career was the relationship he developed with the players over the last four years. He said, “Some of them were in fourth grade when I started. That is really exciting when you see them grow up in your program.”

McLeod said he hoped his program helped his athletes “become better people, better basketball players, and have a great team experience with lifelong friendships and good memories.” He added, “I think we accomplished all of those goals.”

He also hopes he is remembered as “a coach that cared about people, was a good teacher, and did all I could to prepare us to do our best.”

Dena Royal, whose daughter Adrianna played basketball for McLeod, said, “Coach McLeod inspires the girls to do their best and work as a team. He is a coach whom is fair to all and expects a lot, but not any more than he is willing to give himself. He will be greatly missed. However, I respect him even more because he is choosing his family as a priority, and that sets an awesome example for the young ladies he has been coaching.”

Although McLeod is stepping down as varsity girls basketball coach, he will be returning to the football staff next fall. He added, “In terms of basketball, I could see myself coming back to it at some point, but I am ready to leave it for a while and coach my own kids in youth sports.”

He said, “The grind of the basketball seasons (winter and summer) has taken its toll. Couple that with what my family has gone through the last couple of years, and I am ready for my enthusiasm and energy to be directed elsewhere. My daughter is 7, my son is 6 and I feel like I need to make sure I have the time and energy to spend with them and my wife.”

Athletic director Nicki Luper said, “Brett has been an asset to the coaching staff and his presence will be missed. He brought a level of intensity and commitment to the girls basketball program that was appreciated by players and parents. He is well respected among his fellow coaches in Wesco and his experience and representation for Oak Harbor High School students will be missed.”

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