By Robert Husseman • Sports Editor • 

Coaching carousel spins through Amity

The last week of school has led to a whirlwind of turnover in Amity’s high school coaching ranks.

Warriors basketball coach Justin Amaya has accepted Amity’s vacant head football coaching position, succeeding Jared Hinkle. Hinkle left the Warriors after one season, accepting a teaching position and an assistant football coaching position at West Albany High School.

Amaya completed his third season atop the Warriors’ boys basketball program in 2013-14, leading Amity to a 24-6 record. The Warriors won the Class 3A West Valley League title and made the Class 3A state tournament.

In the fall, Amaya coached the Amity junior varsity football team. He also coaches West Salem boys tennis in the spring.

“We’ve had some turnover in football,” Amity High School principal Chris Daniels said. “It was important to the community and me to have someone familiar with the kids. Jared was incredible, but he got a job too far away.

“Justin is just an incredible X’s-and-O’s guy. Amazing amount of energy. The kids love him. The community really respects him.”

Amity’s new volleyball coach is a familiar face as well: Longtime Warriors coach Danny Keliiheleua has agreed to return to the program.

Former Amity coach Kimi Romey succeeded Keliiheleua in 2008 and remained with the Warriors for seven seasons before resigning following this spring. Keliiheleua remains active around Yamhill County, coaching traveling volleyball teams.

“He’s a very experienced coach,” Daniels said. “He knows what he’s doing. He’s going to be able to take the program from where Kimi left it – Kimi left it in excellent shape – and continue to move forward.”

As the Warriors moved to fill two coaching positions, a third opened in the cross country program. Erin Fassio has resigned from her teaching position within the Amity School District, Daniels said, and resigned from her coaching position along with it.

Daniels said Amity has “two or three really good candidates” for the position and expects to fill it next week.

Warriors Athletic Director Angie Albus also resigned from her position this week, and Amity girls basketball coach and former Amity School District Superintendent Reg McShane agreed to take over the position on an interim basis, Daniels said. Derek Burnett, a longtime coach of numerous Warriors programs, will be “mentoring” McShane in the role.

Daniels indicated that he would like to hire a permanent athletic director by the end of the 2014-15 academic year.

“Sports at Amity are in good hands,” he said.

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