Former North aide takes over at Crater

Jared Casper had two main goals growing up.

When the 39-year-old lawyer was named Crater High head boys basketball coach last week, succeeding Troy McNichols, he crossed the second one off his list.

"The thing I always wanted to do was be a lawyer and a high school head basketball coach," said Casper.

Casper, a 1998 graduate of Gonzaga University School of Law, moved to the Rogue Valley in 2008 to join a law firm.

Soon afterward he got involved coaching basketball as a North Medford High girls assistant under Kevin Dixon.

"I was so lucky to have him on my staff," said Dixon. "He's very knowledgeable, he's been successful and he's good with the kids. It's nothing but pluses."

Casper helped Dixon game plan and make personnel decisions. The Black Tornado coach demonstrated confidence in Casper's abilities.

"He ran parts of practice," said Dixon. "A lot of times, on the bench, he made substitutions during games and I had no problem with that."

Prior to moving to Oregon, Casper gained basketball coaching experience during a five-year stint as a boys varsity assistant at Provo High School in Utah. During that time, the school went to four state championship games and won three.

Crater Athletic Director Jeff Johnson said Casper rose to the top among a group of attractive applicants.

"He stood out," says Johnson. "He's a sharp guy who is a great communicator and is very organized. He's a kid-friendly type of guy."

Casper says he was impressed the first time on the Crater campus.

"When I first moved to Medford I went to Crater for some event my kids were in," said Casper. "I remember walking into the gym and seeing all the state championship banners. I thought, 'That's a school I could coach at.' I thought this would be a good place to build a successful program."

Casper is enthused about assuming leadership of a program that finished sixth in last season's Class 5A state tournament. He has already become acquainted with some of the returning players.

"By my calculations, we have four kids coming back with the equivalent of 20 to 25 points a game," said Casper. "I'm excited about implementing the stuff I've learned at other levels and see where it takes us."

Defensively, Casper wants to use a team-oriented defense with both man and zone principles. And he plans to run the offense through the post.

"We want to control the paint," said Casper. "Anytime you can be leader of points in the paint, that gives you a very good chance of winning."

Casper and his wife, Juli, have seven children ranging from a high school sophomore to a 2-year-old.

Reach reporter Frank Silow at 776-4480, or e-mail

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