Meadowdale hires O’Neill as new boys basketball coach

Meadowdale graduate Roger O'Neill was promoted to head boys basketball coach on Tuesday, He coached the JV team the last two years.
Meadowdale graduate Roger O’Neill was promoted to head boys basketball coach on Tuesday, He coached the JV team the last two years.

Meadowdale High School has hired one of its own as the school’s new boys basketball coach.

Roger O’Neill, a 2009 graduate, was promoted to head coach on Tuesday. O’Neill was the junior varsity coach for the past two seasons. He succeeds Andy Streit, who resigned for personal reasons in March.

“I couldn’t be more excited,” O’Neill said. “I grew up in the Meadowdale family. … It’s a dream come true to take over the program that did so much for me.”

After graduating from Meadowdale, O’Neill played college basketball from 2009-13 at St. Martin’s University in Lacey.

Becoming the head coach at Meadowdale was something O’Neill was thinking about even when he was playing basketball in high school.

“I knew after my college days, I would try to get involved again,” he said.

O’Neill isn’t the only coach in the family. Older sister Kristen is an associate head coach for the Seattle University women’s basketball team. Kristen and older sister Kellie both played basketball at the University of Washington and older brother Richard was a baseball player at St. Martin’s University.

O’Neill will take over a varsity team that returns only three players, so the bulk of the team will be JV players he’s coached the last two years.

“It was great to be able to be here the last two years developing relationships with the returning guys,” O’Neill said. “These are guys I coached first hand. It’ll take a little bit of the learning curve out of it.”

O’Neill, 24, knows he’s young and plans to have a coaching staff that has some experience.

“I am young and I have a lot to learn,” O’Neill said. “I’m going to fill my staff with experienced people who’ve been around for a while and who can be a resource.”

Being a head coach is a demanding job, O’Neill said, and he’s ready to put in the hours. His biggest strengths are his enthusiasm for the sport and the high school, O’Neill said.

“I know what Meadowdale basketball means to the school and the community having lived through it my whole life,” O’Neill said.

– By David Pan

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