New Tigard coach Ken Feist played football and baseball at Banks, where he graduated in 1987, and Portland State.
New Tigard coach Ken Feist played football and baseball at Banks, where he graduated in 1987, and Portland State.

Tigard has opted to hire an interim head football coach after the resignation of John Kemper in April.

The school has turned the reins over to Ken Feist, who joined the high school staff last season as the freshman head coach. Feist is familiar with many of Tigard's players from coaching youth football and baseball teams in the district that featured his son Jakoby, who will be a senior this season.

“It was kind of a last-minute thing,” Feist said of becoming the interim coach. “I certainly feel honored and blessed to get an opportunity to coach these kids for one last ride.”

Kemper resigned after going 21-15 in four seasons. He since has accepted a position as the associate head coach at St. Michael's Academy in Austin, Texas.

Tigard had little time to find a replacement for Kemper.

“Even though we opened it up and began our search, we felt like the applicant pool could've been bigger,” athletic director Ryan Taylor said. “Maybe not necessarily better, but bigger.

“As we were moving through the process, we could feel that our community just wasn't really ready to move on. So we paused and stepped back and put a familiar face in front of our families. Somebody who still has the same high expectations of being champions on the field.”

Feist was a football and baseball standout at Banks, where he graduated in 1987, and went on to a two-sport career at Portland State.

He received a football scholarship as a quarterback and switched to free safety. An outfielder in baseball, Feist was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 33rd round of the 1991 MLB draft. He played two seasons in the Giants organization, the second year in long-season single-A ball.

Feist moved to Tigard in 2007. A sergeant in the Beaverton Police Department, he started coaching youth sports when Jakoby was in the third grade. Last year, he helped guide the freshman football team to a 6-2 record.

“It was a lot of fun,” he said. “We were successful. We certainly gelled as a coaching staff.”

After Kemper resigned, Feist helped fill the void by organizing workouts. He said he did not apply for the head coaching position, assuming he would continue coaching the freshmen, but when the school asked him if he would consider the interim varsity job, he was receptive.

“I said I'd be all in,” he said. “I'd never turn down an opportunity to coach these kids one last time.”

Taylor said the school is committed to reopening the position shortly after the season.

“We'll try to hit that season when coaches and teachers are beginning to look at, and set up their plans, for the next school year,” Taylor said.

Would Feist consider reapplying for the job?

“It'll all depend on what my son ends up doing for college,” Feist said. “As it stands right now, I'm the interim head coch for this fall season, for sure. I'm just playing it season by season. I'd have to think about it. I'll visit it at some point.”