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Hank Coplen, CCS 1967-1986

Hank CoplenCoplen was hired in 1964 by Dr. Walter Johnson as the first athletic director and men’s basketball coach at Spokane Falls Community College. He was also named as the first men’s cross country coach. His team won the Washington Athletic Association of Community Colleges cross country championship in 1967-68. Coplen’s best men’s basketball team won the WAACC state title in 1966-67 and went on to compete at the NJCAA regional tournament in Boise, Idaho. An outstanding basketball coach and teacher his entire career, he coached successfully at numerous Washington high schools. He also coached basketball at Highline Community College and Columbia Basin College where he won two state titles. After coaching, he returned to Spokane to run the extension program for the Community Colleges of Spokane. Coplen has been honored by selection to the CCS, NWAACC, WIAA Basketball Coaches and Inland Empire Halls of Fame.

Jerry Skaife, SFCC 1976-1997

Jerry SkaifeJerry was an outstanding basketball player at Rogers High School where he earned All-City and All-State honors. He attended Columbia Basin College, where he was named NWAACC All-Conference as a player on CBC’s NWAACC Championship teams in 1963 and 1964. He transferred to the University of Idaho and took Big Sky All-Conference honors for two more consecutive seasons. In 1968 he was selected to the AAU All-American first team and invited to the Olympic trials in Colorado Springs. After coaching high school basketball for several years, Skaife came to Spokane Falls Community College in 1976 as head men’s basketball coach. When the two Spokane schools combined their programs in 1978, he assisted the CCS men's team for two seasons and the women's for five more. Spokane’s women won NWAACC titles in 1983 and 1984 with the help of assistant coach Jerry Skaife. Jerry became CCS's softball coach when the program started in 1985 and led them to the NWAACC tournament in each of their first 13 seasons, capturing three NWAACC Championships and finishing runner-up three times. The Sasquatch compiled a 270-72 record in league play and he was selected NWAACC Coach of the Year five times during his tenure. Skaife served ten years as the SFCC Physical Education Department Chair and is a member of the CCS and NWAACC Halls of Fame.

Sam Brasch, SCC 1981-2001

Sam BraschSam attended Central Valley High School in Spokane and was instrumental in leading his CVHS basketball team to a 19-0 record in his senior year. Brasch had two outstanding years at Spokane Community College where he was a key leader of the 1971-72 team that won the Eastern Region, and he was named MVP of the 1972-73 squad. He had 322 career rebounds and had a physical and competitive style of play. Brasch continued as a leading scorer and rebounder at Whitworth College, where he was honored his senior year by being selected to both the NAIA All-Conference and All-District teams. Sam began his coaching career at Whitworth as an assistant to Cal Riemcke for three years and one year as head coach. He then became an assistant at SCC for one season before taking over as head coach, a position he held for 21 years (1981-2002). His career record was 292-276 and he was named Regional Coach of the Year in 1982, 1984 and 1985. The highlight of his tenure was in 1999-2000 when he led the Sasquatch to the NWAACC Championship and received NWAACC Coach of the Year honors. In 2006, Sam was inducted into the CCS Hall of Fame and his 1999-2000 team was inducted in 2008.

Craig Johnson, SCC 1971-2008

Craig JohnsonCraig graduated from Shadle Park High School in 1964, where he earned All-City and All State basketball honors. He continued his basketball career at both the University of Idaho and Whitworth College. Upon graduating, Johnson entered the coaching profession at Odessa High School, before he returned to Whitworth as assistant basketball coach under Cal Riemke. In 1971, Craig was selected to begin the development of the basketball program at the newly established Spokane Community College “Sasquatch” campus. He held the head coaching position from 1971-1979, with his teams compiling a 136-85 win/loss record. In his first year at SCC, his team won the 1971-72 Eastern Region Championship. His 1974-75, 1975-76, and 1978-79 teams were all NWAACC Conference Runners-up, and he was named Eastern Region Coach of the Year in 1975-76. In 1981, Coach Johnson became an assistant for the women’s basketball team and served under Scott Foxley with their 1981-82 and 1982-83 teams winning consecutive NWAACC Basketball Championships. He also played an integral role in the development of the physical education department at SCC, as both an instructor and the Department Chairman for over 38 years. Craig was inducted into the CCS Hall of Fame in 2006.

Paul Tikker, CCS 1979-Present

Paul TikkerTikker was an All-League basketball player at Wilbur High School who continued his education and athletic career at Whitworth College. Tikker started teaching and coaching at the Community Colleges of Spokane in 1979. His first coaching assignment was as an assistant for football under Bob Everson and John Buck. During that time Spokane won four NWAACC football championships. Tikker also assisted Sam Brasch in the men’s basketball program from 1979 to 1985 and they won the NWAACC Eastern Region title three years. Paul than served as the head women’s basketball coach for three years while winning the NWAACC Eastern Region two seasons in a row (1985-86 and 1986-87). Coach Tikker became the head men’s golf coach in 1988. He held that position for twenty years and built one of the most successful golf programs in the NWAACC. Under his guidance the men’s team became a constant title contender and won numerous NWAACC Eastern Region Championships and 2 NWAACC Conference Championships (1999 and 2002). Tikker started the women’s golf program in 1991-92 and was their head coach for 11 seasons. His women’s teams dominated the NWAACC golf league and his teams won 5 NWAACC Championships (1992, 1997, 1998, 2000, and 2001). He was named the NWAACC Coach of the Year 11 years during his tenure in golf. Tikker has been selected to both the CCS and the NWAACC Halls of Fame.

Eric Hughes, 2002-2007

Hughes played high school basketball in Oakland, California, before graduating from Cal State Hayward where he was named as team captain his senior year. He then served as a D-I assistant coach for 13 years, his last nine at the University of Washington. CCS Athletic Director Maury Ray hired Eric in 2002, and he immediately put his personal stamp on the CCS men’s basketball program. Eric was a great recruiter, super organized, and very passionate about coaching in Spokane. In his five years at the helm, he adopted the athletic department staff as his family and took pride in his position as a Physical Education tenured track faculty member. He led the Sasquatch to three NWAACC tournament appearances, finishing third in 2006. Eric won Region Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2006 as his teams won the Eastern Region championship both years. He left CCS in 2007 to become an assistant coach in the NBA, first with Toronto, followed by New Jersey and then the Milwaukee Bucks.

Hall of Fame - Men's Basketball