High School Basketball

Nooksack Valley tabs Skillman next boys’ basketball coach

Nooksack Valley’s Rich Skillman tries to put up a shot against Lynden during a 2007 game. Skillman has returned to serve as the program’s coach beginning this winter.
Nooksack Valley’s Rich Skillman tries to put up a shot against Lynden during a 2007 game. Skillman has returned to serve as the program’s coach beginning this winter. The Bellingham Herald

Nooksack Valley High School principal Matt Galley announced on Wednesday, May 18, that the Pioneers have selected former standout player Rich Skillman to be the school’s new boys’ basketball coach.

Skillman has worked for the school district the past two years, serving as a middle school PE teacher and an assistant basketball coach.

“He brings a strong playing background to the table, as well, playing four years at Northwest University,” Galley said in a press release. “He is also a true Pioneer, having grown up, graduated, and returned to the area.”

Before graduating from Nooksack Valley in 2008, Skillman was selected the Northwest Conference Most Valuable Player after leading the league with 19.8 points per game and finishing second with 7.6 rebounds per outing. He also was selected a third-team NAIA Division II All-America in 2012 while at Northwest University, where he holds the single-season steals record and is second all-time.

Skillman will take over for former coach Chris Scrimsher, who left to pursue a full-time job. Scrimsher, who formerly served as men’s basketball coach and associate athletic director at Whatcom Community College, coached Nooksack Valley the past two seasons, leading it to an 11-32 record. The team showed improvement last year, going 9-14 and advancing to the Class 1A Northwest District Tournament.

“Chris did an outstanding job of infusing a competitive nature and solid fundamentals in our program,” Nooksack Valley athletic director Tom Harmon said in the release. “Although his time was short, he had a very positive impact on our athletics as a whole, and our district appreciates his work greatly.”

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