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Twenty-three high school coaches from across the country have been selected as 2021-22 National Coaches of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association. Three are from Oregon: Greg Grant, head football coach at Heppner High School, Kirsten Ruchaber, girls tennis at Jesuit High and Pendleton dance coach Debbie Kishpaugh.

Football, 11-Player

Greg Grant

Heppner, Oregon

             Currently the football coach at Heppner (Oregon) High School, Greg Grant has compiled an outstanding 330-76 record in 41 years of coaching. He has led his teams to three Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) state championships (1992, 2015 and 2019) and three runner-up finishes (1989, 2007 and 2014). Grant, who ranks No. 4 on the all-time Oregon football coaching victories list, has received numerous State and Conference Coach of the Year awards. In addition to coaching football at Heppner High School since 1990, Grant also has served as the school’s athletic director since 2001 and has been an assistant coach for several other sports. Grant has served on the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association and the Oregon Athletic Directors Association Boards of Directors, and he has served on several OSAA committees. Grant’s philosophy of athletics is to “capitalize on the lessons available in athletics to enrich every player’s life now and into the future. It is my goal that players leave our program realizing that attendance, timeliness, effort and accountability are actions that will set them up for success in every facet of their lives.” 


Kirsten Ruchaber

Portland, Oregon

Kirsten Ruchaber has compiled an amazing 317-12 record in 22 years as the girls tennis coach at Jesuit High School in Portland. Ruchaber has led her teams to nine Oregon School Activities Association State Tennis Championships, including five in a row from 2005 to 2009. Her 2007 team was recently inducted into the Jesuit Hall of Fame and continues to hold the Oregon State record for points scored at the state championships. Ruchaber is the six-time Metro Coach of the Year and five-time Oregon Athletic Coaches Association Coach of the Year. In addition to her state titles, Rubacher’s teams have won 17 Metro League titles. Ruchaber believes that athletic involvement is an opportunity to give back to the community. She puts this into practice by volunteering for the yearly Jesuit High School Food Drive at St. Matthew Lutheran Church as well as providing tennis lessons to local children.

Girls Spirit

Debbie Kishpaugh

Pendleton, Oregon

On April 13, residents of Pendleton, Oregon celebrate Debbie Kishpaugh Day to honor Kishpaugh’s six consecutive Oregon School Activities Association State Dance/Drill Championships from 2008 to 2013. As the girls spirit coach at Pendleton High School, Kishpaugh practices the philosophy of “heart over talent” in her daily interactions with athletes. In 36 years as a high school coach, Kishpaugh has an impressive resume of honors and awards including Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2017, a Lifetime Achievement, and Pendleton Citizen of the Year in 2010. Her philanthropic efforts as founder of Oregon Junior Dance Team Championships (OJDTC) have raised more than $115,000 in dance and academic scholarships to Oregon Dance Drill Coaches Association. Kishpaugh believes that youth spirit participation leads to a life of character and disciplined learning for participants.

About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.6 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at

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                                                Director of Publications and Communications

                                                National Federation of State High School Associations



                                                Chris Boone, 317-972-6900

                                                Assistant Director of Publications and Communications

                                                National Federation of State High School Associations



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                                                Manager of Media Relations

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                                                National Federation of State High School Associations