Brynan Shipley will not look back on her time as Kalama’s athletic director and think about the three team state titles the Chinooks won in her three years. No, she will think about the relationships she created and the community that rallied behind some of the most successful teams in the school’s history.
Shipley accepted an athletic director position at Ridgefield High earlier this week, ending her three-year reign heading Kalama athletics. She also steps down from her girls’ basketball coaching position, which she has held for the past eight seasons.
“It’s been a bittersweet process,” Shipley said. “I’m leaving a lot of great relationships, but this was a great opportunity.”
She will replace Debbie Bentler as Ridgefield’s AD.
Shipley’s time at Kalama was filled with success. She took a 0-20 basketball team and led them to a state title game in just a few short years. She finished with a 109-70 record with the team. She will not coach at Ridgefield.
“There was a great group of girls in Kalama,” Shipley said. “I had them all over to my house in person, and they were the first group I delivered the message to about my leaving. They’ll do fine without me. I’m all about relationships, and those I’ve formed with the girls and others in Kalama, I’ll always have those with me.”
She took over as athletic director in 2015 in an interim capacity but was confirmed in a full-time capacity later that academic year.
Since then, Kalama has won three team state titles. The volleyball crown in 2016 was the first team title since 1998 for the Chinooks. The football team won the 2B state championship in 2017, and then the boys’ track team captured a title this spring. The girls’ soccer team and girls’ basketball team also made championship games in the 2016-17 season.
“Kalama is in a really good place right now,” Shipley said. “The town is so supportive of athletics. The families that come out, and the fire department comes up and gives send-offs. All the volunteers we have, and the elders that come to the events. Just the strong community feel that support the school system in general. I hope I’ve been part of a little difference the past few years.”
And it’s that small-town, community feel that she hopes to bring to the rapidly growing Ridgefield.
“I definitely think it’s a great time in Ridgefield right now,” Shipley said. “There are some strong traditions there to keep in place. .... And then obviously you have a large amount of growth. Every corner you turn, there’s a new development going up. I want to embrace that, but keep the small-town community feel.”
Shipley won’t forget to keep in touch with everyone in Kalama — the people meant the most to her.