Geoducks’ Heuer to step down after 13 years

mwochnick@theolympian.comFebruary 14, 2014 

Monica Heuer is leaving college coaching the way she wants it — on her own terms.

Heuer, The Evergreen State College women’s basketball coach, announced her resignation Thursday afternoon effective at the end of the season, ending what will be a 13-year tenure as the Geoducks’ coach.

“It’s been fun, and I go leaving it very proud and in good shape for whoever takes over,” she said.

Heuer will resign to focus her attention as an administrator; she has been Evergreen’s assistant athletic director for the past five years.

As Heuer put it, coaching has made her “a little tired.”

“I’ve been coaching 21 years,” said Heuer, who had previous coaching stints at Patten College in Oakland (head coach), California State East Bay and NCAA Division I programs San Jose State and University of San Francisco. “Coming out of college, it was something I always wanted to do. It’s been a passion of mine. And so in some ways, to relinquish that on my own terms is a blessing.

“I look forward to being an integral part of the athletic department.”

The Geoducks have four regular-season games remaining, including their final homestand Friday against Warner Pacific and Saturday against Concordia. And they control their own future as they march toward the playoffs.

A top-four finish in the Cascade Collegiate Conference means they’ll host a first-round game of the CCC tournament Feb. 25. Evergreen (11-10 overall, 7-7 CCC) is currently sixth, and it can clinch its third consecutive playoff berth — and seventh overall under Heuer — with a win Friday. The top eight make the playoffs.

Evergreen athletic director Matt Newman called Heuer “the face of Evergreen basketball.”

“Monica brings a consistent student-first approach to all of her work,” Newman said, “and that, combined with her exceptional work ethic and high level of integrity, have produced impressive results for women’s basketball and for the college.”

Heuer’s win-loss record at Evergreen is 108-255. This is the fifth time in 13 seasons she has led the Geoducks to double-digit victories.

Heuer is happy with how she has built up the program since her arrival in 2001, including expanding the recruiting radius and establishing high graduation rates.

“I leave very proud of where it is now,” Heuer said, adding that “it’s not an empty cellar, either.”

“There’s a great group returning for next year,” she said.

Assistant coach Jennifer Schooler will be the program’s interim coach until a permanent replacement is hired, the college announced.

GNAC HONORS SMU DUO

Saint Martin’s Chelsea Haskey (women’s basketball) and Frank Krause (men’s indoor track and field) earned Great Northwest Athletic Conference athletes of the week in their sports.

Haskey, a 6-foot-1 senior forward, averaged 14 points and six rebounds in two Saints wins last weekend as they improved to 14-7 overall entering this week’s games at Western Washington and Simon Fraser.

Krause, out of Onalaska, ran the 800 meters in 1 minute, 53.65 seconds, which ranks 12th nationally in Division II, at the University of Idaho’s Kibbie Dome. His 50.61 time in the 400 in that meet broke a 12-year-old school record.

HIGH JUMPER JOHNSON QUALIFIES FOR NATIONALS

When Evergreen high jumper Anthony Johnson jumped a school-record 7 feet, 21/4 inches at the UW Invitational on Feb. 1, the mark qualified him for the 2014 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships later this month in Albuquerque, N.M. That jump ranks him first among NAIA athletes and ninth best among collegiate jumpers at any level. It’s also the 14th-best men’s mark by an American this year.

LETTERS OF INTENT

Saint Martin’s soccer coach Rob Walker has announced nine signees — eight men and one women — to join the Saints this fall. The eight male in-state recruits are: Austin Aitkens (Lake Stevens High School), Christian Caro (Mount Vernon HS), Nolan Eldridge (Mead HS of Spokane), McKray Kohn (Graham-Kapowsin HS), Joey Mack (Bonney Lake HS), Tim Teipel (Skyview HS, Vancouver), Kyle Witzel (Sedro-Woolley HS) and Austin Yon (Stadium HS). Rochester’s Camryn Althauser, the MVP of the 1A SWW Evergreen Division last fall, is Walker’s lone women’s signee. ...

Two Olympia High School graduates signed letters of intent to play women’s soccer. Annie Armstrong will play at Louisiana Tech, and Deidra Woodward signed with Alabama State. The pair played last season at Port Angeles’ Peninsula College.

Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 mwochnick@theolympian.com theolympian.com/ south-sound-sports-blog @megwochnick

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