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Heather Roberts Says No Matter The Court, Basketball Is Basketball

Heather Roberts is the first woman to coach boys basketball at an Oregon high school since the 1930s.

The Oregon native is the new varsity head coach at Yamhill Carlton High School. She told “Think Out Loud” host Dave Miller that coaching the boys team hasn’t been any different than her experience coaching girls.

“It’s just basketball,” she said. 

Heather Roberts is the new coach for the boys varsity basketball team at Yamhill Carlton High School.

Heather Roberts is the new coach for the boys varsity basketball team at Yamhill Carlton High School.

Claire Martin-Tellis/OPB

Roberts has wanted to coach the sport since she was a young girl.

“I remember telling my fifth-grade teacher that I wanted to be a basketball coach and he goes ‘You’ll do that someday,’” she said. “That thought always stuck in my head.”

At the beginning of her dream career, Roberts said she made some bold decisions with her team. She even held a practice on Thanksgiving Day.

One year she cut the starting point guard from the team for missing the first days of tryouts. When she showed up on day three Roberts said without hesitation, “Too late.”

She said she has since mellowed out.

“Once I had kids of my own, then you realize that kids are human and make mistakes,” she said.

While Roberts has mellowed through the years, the actions of athletes’ parents have largely stayed the same. She said not having to interact with parents was the best part of coaching for a college.

“Most parents are great, but about 10 percent of the parents cause a lot of headaches,” she said.

Often times those troublesome parents can cause coaches to get out of the game.

Not Roberts though.

“I plan on being here for a while,” she said.

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OPB | Broadcast: June 5, 2018