Written by Daniel Whitehead
BUENA VISTA, Va.—Southern Virginia University Director of Athletics Jason Lamb today named Heather Roberts as the university's next head women's basketball coach.
"We are excited to have Heather lead our women's basketball program into a new era," Lamb said. "She is enthusiastic and passionate about basketball and brings with her a wealth of experience. We believe Heather is the right person to carry on the women's basketball tradition here at Southern Virginia and represent the university by competing at a high level in the Capital Athletic Conference."
Roberts comes to Southern Virginia following a tremendous coaching career at the high school level in the state of Oregon. A four-time Coach of the Year award winner, Roberts tallied 264 wins, 14 playoff appearances and six state tournament appearances during her 17 seasons as a head women's basketball coach.
"I am excited for this opportunity to coach at the next level," Roberts said. "It's hard to leave the state of Oregon where I've been my whole life but this was too good of an opportunity to pass up. After I get to know the girls, I want to help them reach their full potential and be competitive in the CAC. We will have a challenging schedule every year playing some of the top Division III programs out there, but we'll go out ready to play the best basketball we can."
Most recently, Roberts coached at Sprague High School in Salem, Ore. Prior to Sprague, she enjoyed a successful six-year campaign at Canby High School (2006-13), leading her teams to six consecutive postseason appearances. Before Canby, Roberts enjoyed a five-year tenure at Lakeridge High School (2001-06), highlighted by three separate top-five finishes in the state tournament (4th Place in 2005; 2nd Place in 2004; 3rd Place in 2003).
She also coached five seasons at Ashland High School from 1996-2001, recording 78 wins. Before coaching at David Douglas High School for the 1995-96 season, she began her career at Crescent Valley High School in 1992 coaching the junior varsity squad for three years under head coach Craig Ellingson.
"Heather brings great excitement and enthusiasm combined with significant coaching experience to our women's basketball program," said Southern Virginia Senior Woman Administrator Deidra Dryden. "Her greatest strength is getting the most out of her players. We feel that she will be able to lead our women's basketball program to great heights and help it compete with the best in the CAC."
In addition to coaching, Roberts has also taught family and consumer studies at the high school level, with her courses of instruction including career education, children's art and literature, foods and nutrition, child development, interior design and human relations. She has also taught physical education courses ranging from kickboxing and weightlifting to Pilates and aerobics.
Since 2008, Roberts has served as an advisor for the 'O' Ambassadors, a student club that discusses worldwide issues such as poverty, hunger, natural resources and education. During that span, she was also an exercise instructor at Bally's Total Fitness and Club Fit.
Roberts is the co-founder of OWN, a women's coaching group and member of the Junto Basketball Board dedicated to protecting the interests of basketball in the state of Oregon.
Roberts received her bachelor's degree in human development from Oregon State University in 1994. She went on to achieve a master of arts in teaching with an emphasis in home economics from Oregon State in 1995.
Roberts served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Houston, Texas, from 1990-92.
Heather and her husband, Jason, are the parents of Manti (23), Micah (19, member of Southern Virginia women's tennis team), Mosiah (19) and twins Moroni and Malachi (9).
Roberts replaces 15-year head coach Mike Harmon, who stepped down in February following the completion of the 2013-14 women's basketball season. Harmon led the Knights to three small-college national titles while tallying a program-record 197 career wins since 1998.