Former all-state and college player Darcey Hodges was hired late last month as the head girls basketball coach at The Dalles High School.
Hodges, a 1999 TDHS graduate, replaces Keith Howe.
The Riverhawk girls have been attending open gyms the past few weeks, allowing Hodges to better get to know her players. For the most part, the introductions have been re-introductions, as Hodges has been a coach in town since moving back in 2007 to raise her family.
“We’ve had open gym three days a week and had a few scrimmages,” she said.
Hodges first moved to The Dalles from Evanston, Wyo., in the late 1990s as a high school sophomore. She was a first-team, all-state player her senior season, when The Dalles finished third at the Oregon Class 3A (then second-to-largest classification) state tournament.
Hodges describes her coaching self as someone who will, “encourage my players, while instructing them in things that need to be corrected. I love defense and will challenge and push my players to be better athletes, students and people.”
She has coached at various levels, including middle school boys and girls basketball at The Dalles Middle School and St. Mary’s, freshman girls basketball at TDHS, and junior varsity girls basketball at Yamhill-Carlton. She also has coached JV soccer in Newberg and The Dalles.
Among her goals: “I hope to build the program back to having three full teams. They only had one team this past season. I hope to make more of a connection with the youth in The Dalles and find ways to get the elementary and middle school kids more active, involved, and connected to the program.”
Hodges played soccer, basketball, and golf in high school. Her senior year she participated in soccer, basketball and both golf and track — and played softball during the summer. She played one year of basketball and one year of soccer at George Fox University, played a year of basketball at Utah Valley State College (now Utah Valley University), and two years of basketball at Western Oregon University.
She earned her associate degree from Utah Valley State, a bachelor’s degree from Western Oregon, and a master’s degree from Eastern Oregon University.
She and husband, Jeff, have a son, Trey, who will be a freshman at TDHS, daughter Kestley, who will be in seventh grade at St. Mary’s, and daughter Tenley, who will be in fourth grade at St. Mary’s.
Hodges teaches middle school social studies, sixth grade math, physical education and health, and electives at St. Mary’s. She taught health and PE in Newberg and coached girls JV soccer and Yamhill-Carlton JV basketball. She has been a substitute teacher for North Wasco for 10 years while coaching JV girls soccer, girls middle school basketball, and eventually frosh girls basketball. She also taught two years of health and PE at The Dalles Middle School. The has taught three years at St. Mary’s and coached boys basketball there.
The Dalles was 2-8 this past COVID-shortened season, which placed the Riverhawks fifth in the six-team Intermountain Conference regular-season standings. Program numbers were at an all-time low, primarily because of the timing of the season, which didn’t get started until late spring.
The Dalles had winning records in two of Coach Brian Stevens’ three seasons from 2017 to 2020. The program was consistently above .500 during Coach Dan Telles’ long tenure during the early 2000s, including five straight from 2011 to 2016. The 2015 Riverhawk team was the last one to win an OSAA postseason game – 56-40 over Liberty High in a state play-in contest.