NVHS Hires NV Grad Jason Heutink to Lead Boys Basketball Program

NVHS Hires NV Grad Jason Heutink to Lead Boys Basketball Program
NV Media

It has been 20 years since Jason Heutink was officially tied to the Nooksack Valley High School boys basketball program. The 2003 NVHS graduate led the Pioneers to the state title in 2003 as the team's point guard. Twenty years later he's ready to lead the team as the new head coach. 

"When I first heard the news there was going to be a change, my wife and I were talking about it," Heutink says. "As we thought more and more about it, we thought there is probably not a better opportunity to jump into." 

Tom Harmon, Nooksack Valley athletic director, says that "after much consideration and follow-up" a hiring committee decided to offer the open boys basketball position to Heutink. "The committee feels confident that he has the necessary skills and mindset to move our boys' program forward and build a culture of excellence," Harmon says. 

Heutink, after graduating from Nooksack Valley, hasn't strayed far from the community. A Windermere real estate agent who still lives in the district, Heutink has served on the school board for the past four years. By taking the basketball position, he will resign from the board to ensure no conflict of interest. 

"It wasn't an easy decision, but one I think is the right decision," he says about having to give up his spot on the board. "I also know there are people wanting to run for the board who are going to be great. I thought I made as much of a difference as I could, and I will still be involved in the district in this next opportunity." 

Basketball has been a key part of Heutink's life, from his high school days until now. "For me it is a pride thing," he says about taking the helm of the Pioneers. "I take a lot of pride in what I do. I took a lot of pride and put in a lot of work in 2003 and people still talk about that team 20 years later. You know how hard you worked, that sense of accomplishment. Good things happen when you work that hard. I'm confident this group will be successful." 

Heutink has three boys at various stages in the Nooksack Valley school district, with one in high school, one in middle school and one in elementary school. "I know the boys coming up in all these classes," Heutink says. "This will be a very fun job. They have a lot of potential. They are still young, but they are a good group. Normally when you step into a head coaching job, you have a few years where you need to figure it out, but I think we will hit the ground running." 

Heutink's mark on the program will start well before the beginning of the next high school season in November. He's already working to form his coaching staff and expects to have a summer—high school coaches can work with their teams for June and July—filled with basketball. "We want to get the group together, get them playing together," he says. "I want to bring the fun to the group. They can play, so as long as they play together and share the ball, they will be just fine. The group we have is not selfish, I just need to get them in the gym together and get them used to each other and trusting each other."