PORT ANGELES — Michael Poindexter isn’t prone to picking up technicals, but during this past year, he had to wrangel though a lot of technicalities.
Poindexter is back as the Port Angeles girls basketball coach. He was rehired by Port Angeles High School last week as the girls’ basketball coach after being forced by state law to quit and reapply after he retired in June as a teacher and yearbook adviser at the school, because the law did not allow him to retire and remain onboard as a coach.
However, he could reapply as the coach after the district opened the position and advertised it for applicants. Poindexter reapplied, was interviewed for the position and accepted it after it was offered.
“I’ve been waiting and hoping,” Poindexter said.
Poindexter couldn’t even help guide girls’ practices this summer until he had been officially rehired as the Roughriders’ coach. The Roughriders’ assistant coaches Jennifer Rogers and Daniel Horton had to run the limited practices this summer.
Poindexter said that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he has seen coaches and athletic directors at other schools furloughed. He said he was definitely not taking it for granted he was going to be rehired.
“I’m thrilled to be back,” he said. “It feels great.”
Poindexter brings back not only a lot of experience, but a lot of success with the Roughriders. He is 158-70 over the past nine years as the varsity coach, has won six Olympice League 2A championships (including league championships in 2019, 2018 and 2016), two West-Central District III championships and has finished in the top eight at state four times.
Prior to coaching at Port Angeles, Poindexter spent 18 years as a girls’ assistant coach and five years as a head coach at Mark Morris High School in Longview.
Port Angeles Athletic Director Dwayne Johnson said in a release that Poindexter is a talented coach with a track record of success.
“Coach Poindexter made a positive impression with the interview team with his eagerness, aspiration and commitment, as well as his ability to articulate his knowledge of basketball Xs and Os,” Johnson said. “He is a solid match for the Roughrider girls’ basketball program and we are excited for coach Poindexter to continue his journey with the Roughrider girls’ basketball program.”
Poindexter said he continues to have a lot of enthusiasm and passion for coaching.
“I love the spirit of the girls and the growth that happens. They’re fun. It’s just fun. I love the game of basketball. It’s not ever boring,” he said.
Last year was especially challenging for Poindexter as he continued to coach through some health issues. Though some nights he wasn’t feeling well, he coached his team to a league title, a district title and a trip to state. Poindexter said those health issues are in the past and he is feeling well now. He remembers last year fondly.
“It was uniquely rewarding. The character the girls displayed and the tenacity,” he said.
For the moment, Poindexter is back into “wait and see” mode, and it might be a few weeks before he can actually get back onto the court leading practices. After all the trouble Poindexter went through reapplying and interviewing for the position he has long held, Gov. Jay Inslee’s recent order on new COVID-19 restrictions has appeared to put a halt to practices for indoor sports such as basketball for the next 30 days at least.
Poindexter said he and other other coaches are waiting for guidance from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association on how to move forward on practices and whether high-risk sports such as basketball may have to be moved to the spring.