Pat Strickland, who coached Jefferson's boys basketball team to five state championships in 13 seasons, has resigned from the position.
Strickland went 274-71 with 5A titles in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014 and a 6A title in 2017. He also won a state championship as a player at Wilson in 1989 before going on to a college career at Oregon State.
Strickland, 51, made his decision official Monday. He informed his staff Friday.
“I want to thank the Jefferson High School administration, student-athletes, teachers and coaches,” he said in a statement to Prep Hoops Oregon. “I also want to thank Marshall Haskins and the PIL Athletic Department for all the support over the years. Last, but not least, I want to thank my family for being by my side every step of the way throughout this amazing experience. It has truly been legendary!”
Strickland became an assistant at Jefferson in 1998-99 when Haskins, the current PIL district athletic director, took over as the Democrats' head coach. Haskins went 241-40 in 10 seasons, including the 2000 big-school state title, before Strickland replaced him as coach in 2008-09.
“We started something back in 1998-99 between the two of us, and we were able to do a pretty phenomenal thing at Jefferson,” Haskins said. “I thought I did a decent job, and he took it to a different level. So it was awesome.”
Haskins credited Strickland for excelling under the high expectations at Jefferson.
“I think in some regards it's harder to coach talent because of the expectations of the kid, the community and the parents,” Haskins said. “It's just another layer that until you have that, you can't understand. Pat won five state championships, and it's that or nothing. That's the expectation.”
With five state titles, Strickland is tied for third all-time in the state with the late Dick Gray, who coached at Benson. Jesuit's Gene Potter has won seven championships and Jack Cleghorn, who coached at Scappoose and La Salle, won six.
After beating Clackamas in the 6A final in 2017, Jefferson finished as the state runner-up the following two seasons, losing in the final to Grant in 2018 and Jesuit in 2019.
The Democrats went 14-3 last season, finishing the season by winning the eight-team Blue bracket of the Portland-area Culminating Week Tournament.
The team's two best players from last season – junior guard Lamar Washington and sophomore wing Marquis Cook – have transferred to AZ Compass Prep in Arizona.
Jefferson now begins the search to replace Strickland.
“I'm sure there will be a lot of people that have some interest,” Haskins said. “We should get a pretty good pool of applicants.”