Dan Lever, who coached Tualatin to the 6A football championship game last season, has accepted the head coaching job at Silverton, the reigning 5A champion.
Lever bought a 20-acre farm near the Silverton-Canby boundary two years ago and has been commuting to Tualatin. Coaching at Silverton will allow him to work closer to home.
“I grew up on a farm and want my kids to have space and do all those things, and be raised how I was raised,” said Lever, who graduated from Canby in 2005. “It just really simplifies a lot. And it's a great opportunity, as well. It's a great program. So it just kind of fit.”
Lever plans for his children – Hudson, 4, and Jade, 2 – to attend school in the Silverton district.
“Long-term it makes sense,” he said.
Lever went 39-15 in five seasons at Tualatin. He led the Timberwolves to the second round of the 6A playoffs in 2017 and 2018 and into the quarterfinals in 2019.
Tualatin finished 12-2 last season, losing to Central Catholic 44-14 in the state final. The Timberwolves shared the Three Rivers League title with Lake Oswego and West Linn.
The Silverton job opened in January when Josh Craig resigned as coach. Craig, who went 41-11 in five seasons as coach, said he wanted step away from coaching “for a little while” to spend more time with his young family.
The Foxes went 12-1 last season, defeating Thurston 26-20 in the 5A final. Their only loss was a 35-28 nonleague defeat at Tualatin in the second game of the season.
Silverton will graduate a deep and talented senior class, but the program is in good shape considering the freshman team went undefeated and the JV lost only one game, to Central Catholic.
Lever is well acquainted with Silverton from his high school days, when Canby played against the Foxes in the former Pac-9 Conference.
“They've got great tradition,” Lever said. “It's a one-horse town. You're the only show in town. I think that all the pieces are there to build great people. Hopefully, I can take the torch and run with it.
“I'm excited to see the pieces, start putting the puzzle together. It'll be fun.”
Lever was hired Wednesday. He met with Tualatin's football players Thursday to deliver the news.
“It was hard. It was very hard,” he said. “I've got a lot of great relationships there. That wasn't an easy thing.”
He said he plans to meet with Silverton's players after spring break.
Lever, who played at Linfield College, is a fourth generation football coach. His great grandfather, Henry, was the head coach at Myrtle Point (1925-29). His grandfather, Dan, was the head coach at Madras (1964) and Newberg (1967-71). And his father, Dan, was the head coach at Monroe (1991) before assisting at Canby for two decades.
Lever's first head coaching job was at Gervais, where he went 4-5 in 2011. Hs assisted in college programs at Southeastern Oklahoma State, Puget Sound and Santa Barbara Community College before taking over at Tualatin.
Change at top for Santiam Christian
Santiam Christian has hired assistant Justin Carley to replace Matt Bain, who resigned as coach.
Bain went 79-21 in nine seasons with the Eagles, leading them to a 13-0 record and 3A title in 2019. Santiam Christian went 5-5 last season, reaching the 3A quarterfinals before falling to South Umpqua 28-8.
Bain coached both of his sons – Hunter and Heston – with the Eagles. With Heston graduating this year, Bain decided to step away.
“That was always kind of my thought,” Bain said. “Coaching was definitely not a career move, but for teaching leadership and character building, stuff like that.”
Bain, a doctor, balanced his time between coaching and operating a family medical clinic.
“Coaching is such a big time commitment, and trying to run the medical practice is quite a big load,” he said. “Especially with COVID these last couple years, it was next to impossible to try to pull off.”
He said he will stay in touch with the program.
“I'm still be involved to some degree in watching them and rooting them on,” he said.
Carley has assisted Bain through most of his tenure. Carley helped with the offense and quarterbacks and also coached defensive backs.
“He knows what's going on. He's a good leader,” Bain said of Carley. “So he'll do a good job with them.”
Carley's son Grant, a 2018 graduate, played quarterback for Santiam Christian. His son Camden, a junior, is in the football program.
Magill steps down at Amity
Amity is looking for a coach after the recent resignation of Joel Magill.
Magill went 105-31 in three stints covering 13 seasons with the 3A Warriors. Under Magill, Amity won a 2A title in 2003 and a 3A title in 2009.
“I think it was finally time,” said Magill, whose three stints covered 2002-04, 2008-10 and 2015-21. “I was hemming and hawing about it because I told my AD I would do a couple more years. It's a little sooner than I thought I was going to go.”
Magill said he will have his summer off for the first time in 27 years. In between his coaching periods at Amity, he coached his sons in youth football and assisted at Central (2011-13), where his son Colton played.
Will he coach again?
“I wouldn't be surprised if I was assisting at Amity, I just don't want to be the head coach anymore,” he said. “At this point in my career, I'm kind of tired of getting home at 3 a.m. because I had to do three loads of laundry because we played at Rainier and the uniforms are really dirty.”
Magill, 49, is in his 26th year of teaching at Amity.
“I don't see myself, quite honestly, ever being a head coach anywhere, unless it was Amity again down the road for some reason,” he said.