CHS girls basketball coach Blake Severns resigns

After three years as the head girls basketball coach at Coupeville High School, Blake Severns resigned at the end of last season.

Severns said, “After 11 years of high-school coaching, I just need a break. It’s a job that takes a lot of time during the season and during the summer.”

He added, “There was no pressure from parents or administration, nor were there any problems with the girls; it was just a tired coach who is learning there are more important things in life than coaching.”

Severns has held a variety of coaching positions in his career. He was a middle school track coach for four years (two at Bellingham’s Kulshan Middle School and two at Coupeville) and was Mount Rainier High School’s cross country coach for two years. He was also a football coach at Mount Rainier for a year.

In basketball, in addition to his position as head of Coupeville’s girls program, he was the eighth-grade coach at Kulshan for four years, assistant boys coach at Mount Rainier for four years and assistant boys coach at Coupeville for two years.

In 2007-2008 his Coupeville club qualified for bi-district and lost a winner-to-state game to Vashon Island. The past two years the Wolves opened district with a win before dropping two.

Severns said his most satisfying years as a coach came at Mount Rainier. His first freshman team started the year 1-5 but finished 8-8. He said his team lost to Kennedy 83-39 in the first round then took them to overtime in the second meeting.

His last year as the Rams’ freshman coach, his squad started 0-13, losing seven of those games by a total of 12 points. They finished the year with a six-game winning streak.

He added, “Those two teams became part of the backbone of the Mount Rainier (varsity) clubs that went to state in later years.”

The highlights of his Coupeville years included beating King’s three times and “knocking them from the playoffs my first year.” He said the Wolves had beaten the Knights only once or twice previously in school history.

Severns said there were four things he hopes his players got out of his program:

One, “They know that I care about them.”

Two, “They learned how to compete and ask more from themselves than they thought possible.”

Three, “That hard work and focus pay off.”

And four, “They believe in themselves and don’t let prior failures, negative comments from others or lack of self-confidence keep them from achieving great success.”

He said he wants his players to remember him as a fun-loving person who “will help them in any way I can.” He added he wanted them to remember him as someone who believed “the sport was less important than who they are as a person.”

Severns’ assistant coach at Coupeville, Jackie Bykonen, said, “I really enjoyed working with Blake. He brought enthusiasm to the game and a ton of knowledge in regard to offensive and defensive sets. He had a positive relationship with the players, especially the seniors. He will be greatly missed as a coach.”

Coupeville principal and athletic director Sheldon Rosenkrance said Severns was dedicated, hard working and inspirational and a “great asset to the school and community.”

Returning to coaching is a possibility, according to Severns. “Never say never. It’s possible I was just burnt out and I need some time to rejuvenate my passion to coach. I know I’ll at least be involved in youth basketball and possibly help out another head coach in the future.”

Severns, who teaches social studies and English at Coupeville, recently became engaged to someone from North Seattle and said he is considering leaving Central Whidbey.

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