Dave Logan/for Peninsula News 
Port Angeles head coach Kasey Ulin urges his team on from the bench during a contest last season. Ulin will be honored with the Pat Fitterer “You Gotta Love It” Positive Coach Contributor Award from the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association during a ceremony July 17 in Longview.

Dave Logan/for Peninsula News Port Angeles head coach Kasey Ulin urges his team on from the bench during a contest last season. Ulin will be honored with the Pat Fitterer “You Gotta Love It” Positive Coach Contributor Award from the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association during a ceremony July 17 in Longview.

PREP BASKETBALL: Port Angeles' Kasey Ulin set to receive Positivity in Coaching award from state hoops coaches

Ceremony July 17 in Longview

PORT ANGELES — On the verge of beginning the Port Angeles boys basketball’s summer program and entering another season in charge of the Roughriders, head coach Kasey Ulin has been recognized by his peers in the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association (WIBCA).

Ulin will be presented the Pat Fitterer “You Gotta Love It” Positive Coach Contributor Award during the association’s westside banquet in Longview on July 17.

The award is given to a boys’ basketball coach who has “ had a transformational effect on the lives of their respective players and coaches, and also had a significant positive impact at their school or within their community.”

Eligible coaches must have at least four years experience as an assistant or head coach and be nominated by an athletic director, coach, player, parent or supporter.

“Pretty humbled, actually,” Ulin said of being honored. “I still feel kind of young, I know I’m now going in my 11th year of coaching, but to be recogized by a group of unbelievable coaches is really humbling. It’s nice to be recognized by people I really respect and it brings a little light to our program, coummunity and our kids. A lot of players and coaches have created the foundation for where our program is now.”

Fitterer coached for 37 seasons, winning a state 4A championship with a perfect season in 1995-96 at Sehome and in 1988 at 1A Highland. His 728-232 career record gives him the second-most wins in state history behind only Ed Pepple’s 952 wins at Mark Morris, Fife and Mercer Island.

Fitterer coached teams that won 18 league championships, 12 district titles and made state 23 times, with 15 top-seven finishes.

Ulin rebuilt the Roughriders and has posted an 139-88 record in charge, including a sixth-place finish in the 2022 Class 2A state tournament, the Riders’ first state team since 2011.

“I’m not too big on personal accolades like coach of the year awards, for me it’s all about our kids and how to help them grow and have an impact on them and translate that into being productive members of their communities after high school,” Ulin said. “That’s where my heart is and where my energy goes.

“We are all going to deal with adveristy and difficult moments and be dealt a bad hand at times, but if you can attack obstacles with an optimistic mindset it can get you through.”

But Ulin said he does appreciate the recognition from fellow coaches.

“It’s incredible to be part of that group,” Ulin said. “One of my favorite weeekends of coaching is going to WIBCA’s coaching clinic in the fall and building relationships with guys like Joe Harris [Chelan] or Brian Roper [Lynden by way of Sequim], Roger de Boer (Lynden Christian) or Nailin [Sood of Mountlake Terrace].

“It’s pretty humbling to build relationships with these guys and learn more and more about the game from them.”

Ulin and assistants will coach the team this summer at tournaments at Kelso, Lynden, Chelan and Zillah as well as attend the Gonzaga Team Camp.

“I think about the 1,000s of miles we put in sleeping in gyms and mat rooms and dorms during the summer,” Ulin said. “That’s when you really build memories with the trips along the way. “We start our summer on Sunday and I can’t wait to get going.”

The July 17 Westside banquet, at the Cowlitz County Event Center in Longview, will see head coaches Rex Stanley (Napavine) and David Long (Columbia River) inducted into the WIBCA Hall of Fame along with two assistant coaches, Steve Kloke of Mark Morris and Jim Sevall of Columbia River .

The Ed & Shirley Pepple Service Award will be presented to Kirc Roland of Longview and a special award will be presented Gavin Cree of Mercer Island as the state nominee for the National John Wooden Award.

Tickets are $40 and available at https://wibcahalloffame.com/events/.

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Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at sports@peninsulanews.us.

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