Former Camas coach Jon Eagle spent last season coaching the quarterbacks at Portland State. (Photo courtesy PSU)
Former Camas coach Jon Eagle spent last season coaching the quarterbacks at Portland State. (Photo courtesy PSU)

West Linn has hired Jon Eagle, who coached Camas to two Washington big-school titles, to replace Chris Miller as football coach.

Eagle coached in Washington for 29 seasons, compiling a 229-70 record at Evergreen (1988-2000), Redmond (2001-03) and Camas (2008-20). In 13 seasons at Camas, he went 127-22 and led the Papermakers to state titles in 2016 and 2019.

He stepped down from Camas last season to assist at Portland State, where he coached quarterbacks last season.

“I just missed leading a program,” Eagle said. “I really enjoy empowering coaches and kids, and running my own stuff.”

West Linn has been looking for a coach since Miller stepped down last month to pursue opportunities in professional football. Miller went 77-18 in eight seasons at West Linn, leading the Lions to the 6A title in 2016.

Eagle, 62, said he talked about the West Linn opportunity with Lions assistant Anthony Newman. Eagle coached Newman as a graduate assistant at Oregon.

“I saw Chris left, and Anthony and I connected and just talked about it,” Eagle said. “The more he talked, the more appealing it sounded.”

Like Miller, Eagle will be an off-campus coach at West Linn.

“I don't have to teach,” Eagle said. “I look at it like, life is short, I want to spend time with quality people. And I just consider Anthony and the coaches I've met at West Linn to be super high-quality people. Great administrative support. That was the appeal.

“The other thing that's appealing is the youth program and how it's aligned. It's similar to what I'm used to. I just want to build on that and add my two cents to it.”

As for the coaching staff?

“That's up to me,” Eagle said. “I get to choose the whole staff. We're working on that right now.”

When he left Camas, Eagle said that he could have stayed there forever. But when Portland State coach Bruce Barnum contacted him, he was intrigued by the opportunity to coach in Division I college football.

“I didn't want to be the old guy that stuck around too long,” Eagle said. “I really thought this was a good jump at Portland State. I wanted to try that.

“I loved everything about it. I liked the fact that I could focus on just the quarterbacks. I'm going to miss seeing our QB1 in the fall and see the fruits of my labor. That part's going to be hard. But I love everything about that level and I'm grateful for the opportunity with Bruce.”

Eagle said that at this point in his life, high school coaching is a better fit.

“College football coach is hard work, 12 months a year,” Eagle said. “I've got three daughters in San Diego and a son in Spokane, so this will free up some more time for my wife and I to travel a little bit.”

After leaving Camas, he started receiving his pension in Washington.

“I didn't really want to stop that and look for a job in Washington,” he said. “We just figured, well, we don't have to move, and I can simply drive to West Linn.”

West Linn made the hiring of Eagle official Wednesday. Eagle attended West Linn's state quarterfinal basketball game Wednesday and met some of the football players.

He plans to meet with the seniors next week.

“There's always a little bit of stress when you're a senior and a new guy comes in,” Eagle said. “We're going to do some things a little bit differently organizationally. I know the Camas model, and we're going to bring that, but every school is different. So we're going to see if we can fit some things, and change things, as need be.”

West Linn finished 11-2 last season, losing to Tualatin in the 6A semifinals. The Lions return many key players from that team.

“Talent ebbs and flows, but it's at high tide right now,” Eagle said.