From student to assistant coach

After hearing about Clackamas Community College from a close childhood friend, Francisco Alvares moved from Nevada in 2016 to attempt to make his dream of playing college baseball a reality. After not making the cut on CCC’s baseball team, Alvares started to help out with the men’s basketball team. Two years later, Alvares has a AAOT degree and has landed his first coaching job as an assistant coach with the Cougars. We sat down with Alvares and asked him about the transition from student to coach.

Q: What got you interested in coaching?

A: I’d been an athlete my entire life so that was a big part of it. Also my baseball coach back in Nevada was big. He pulled me aside when I graduated and asked me ‘have you ever thought about coaching?’ I started helping around the town with soccer or whatever I could, that was like the beginning of my coaching career.

Q: Do you play basketball?

A: I did. I started in sixth grade. I played seventh, eighth, but freshman year I didn’t, just because I was more into baseball. But I played my sophomore, junior and senior years. I learned baseball and basketball more than the average person and know the fundamentals of the game plus some.

Q: What were your duties as a student-assistant?

A: One of the big ones was being positive, I was just trying to be the positive side of everything. I love the team and I love doing things for them so it was like I wanted to be there for them if they needed anything done. If they needed a hand with something extra I let them know ‘hey I can do it.’ That’s what I brought to the table. Even small things like stuff that managers would take care of, I’d do it.

Q: How have your duties changed now that you’re an assistant coach?

A: It’s still a lot of that stuff, but they’ve added more stuff to my duties, as an example I’m driving to games now in the vans when we’re taking all our red-shirts, I’m going to drive to games when [coach] Stamme can’t. Also drills wise coach has given me drills, working with players outside of [practice], opening up the gym for them, getting up extra shots. I’m running an Instagram now and I thought that was really cool because I’ve never got to build my own page. It gets a lot more people to see us so I think it’s one more big thing I’m adding to the table for our team. I just want them to know Clackamas is somewhere awesome they can come.

Q: What have you learned so far working with coach Wegner and Stamme?

A: I went to a coaching clinic with them and coach Shaw from Western [Oregon University] said from every coach he’s ever coached along with you bring a little something. From [coach] Stamme I learned how to be really prepared and really on point, having everything in order and just being collected.That’s really big for me because as a young coach you don’t always get to learn to how to be prepared. With coach Wegner I’ve learned the triangle [offense]. He took me to Noho’s with the team coaches and we got to sit there for three hours and just talk basketball and learn the triangle. [Wegner] gives me things to add to my personal game that I want to bring to the table as a head coach one day. [Wegner’s] been a really great mentor and stays positive at the really big moments and I feel he’s been around long enough to know the bigger aspects of basketball, he’s got me to see a lot of things I missed as a player.

Q: What’s the next step in your coaching career?

A: I want to transfer to the University of Oregon and apply and hopefully get an interview to become a manager. I want to try to talk to the coach and learn as much as I can from him. I know I’m getting a lot of opportunities thanks to everyone around me, so I’m going to take them and hopefully get the best out of it. I want to be a head coach for my own team someday.

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Jacob Thompson