Rick Skeen


Rick grew up in Pendleton Oregon where he fell in love with the game. Early mornings shooting with his Dad rebounding grew into a passion that is with him to this day. After high school, Rick attended Northwest Nazarene University and during this time it became clear he wanted to be involved in basketball even when his playing days came to an end. Listening to coaches’ tapes, reading books, and picking the brain of anyone who had coached the game, soon he began to develop his philosophy.

His first official coaching position was with the C Team at Marysville High School. The following year he moved up to the Junior Varsity level at Granite Falls High School. Two short years later he took over the helm at Burlington Edison. Here, he turned the Tigers into a perennial powerhouse that ended in three consecutive trips to the 2A State Championship game. From Burlington, Rick traveled south to coach the King’s Knights to eleven straight trips to the state tournament.

Rick’s teams are always marked by mental toughness and defensive intensity. Both are qualities he developed through the years. While not everyone can be tall, quick, or explosive, every player can choose to give their all. Coach Skeen’s ability to inspire effort, especially on the defensive end, and build mental toughness has been a benchmark of his squads. Modeling that effort, every game is a unique masterpiece that he crafts through hours of watching tape, designing schemes, and implementing plans.

Rick has a stellar career record of 394-161 (71%) in twenty-two years as a head coach and in the past fifteen years, it rose to 322-83 (79.8%). His teams qualified for State sixteen years in a row with a combined record of 45-16 (73.8%). Rick coached in nine state championship games, thirteen state semi-final games, winning ten conference championships, six district championships, three bi-district championships, and three state championships. He has coached in four WIBCA All-State games and served on both the WIAA and District 1 Executive Boards.

His influence is sought after in coaching clinics and mentoring relationships around the Northwest.

When asked about his philosophy Coach Skeen replied, “While winning games is the platform the ultimate goal is teaching valuable life lessons through basketball. I believe that participation in sports closely models life itself and provides an opportunity for student-athletes to grow and mature into adulthood. Some of the lessons student-athletes are taught through participation in sports include teamwork, commitment, discipline, servant leadership, hard work, toughness, sportsmanship, perseverance, and sacrifice. When it comes to coaching basketball, my philosophy can best be summed up with the following statement: ‘Building champions while pursuing championships’.”

Coach Skeen is a tireless worker excessively modeling his commitment to excellence. He believes strongly in his players, fights for his team, and refuses to quit. His passion for the games is only dwarfed by his love for the people involved. Rick wants to thank his parents for always being there, and his family for the support and lots of teasing. Finally, Rick wishes to extend thanks to all the incredible coaches and players that have made the journey to this point such a Joy.