Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Linfielder Jeff Basinski was a Forest Grove High School ‘fixture’

Teacher, coach Jeff Basinski dies at 65

Mayor says former AD was ‘a fixture’ at the local high school

By the Forest Grove News-Times with slight editing by Wildcatville, Jun 1, 2011 and July 3, 2012

Longtime Forest Grove teacher, coach and administrator Jeff Basinski, a 1965 Wilson High School (Portland) and 1968 Linfield grad and former Wildcat football player, died in his sleep in his Vancouver, Wash., home on May 27, 2011, at the age of 65.

He coached basketball and wrestling at Forest Grove High School for many years. He was head coach of the Viking football team from 1980 to 1991, leading league champion teams in 1981 and 1985. Before that he assisted coach Jeff Durham, Linfield grad, and after he left the head coaching job he served on the staffs of coaches Bill Bloomer and Mike McCabe.

He retired as the school’s athletic director in 2005.

Basinski taught social studies and personal finance at FGHS. After retirement, he helped coach at Centennial High School.

He is survived by his wife Connie, also a 1968 Linfield grad, son B.J. and daughter Jamie. His father was Eddie Basinski, who played professional baseball in the Major League and for the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League.

“He was a fixture at Forest Grove High School and will be missed,” said Forest Grove Mayor Pete Truax.

FGHS activities director Howard Sullivan, who knew Basinski for 30 years, called him a “friend and mentor to us all.”

Services were pending at press time. An obituary will appear in the June 8 issue of the News-Times.

Photo from 2002 NIAAA (National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Assn.) national conference in Orlando, Fla., shows Linfield grad/Forest Grove High’s Jeff Basinski (left) and Ashland High’s Jim Nagel, now Linfield football offensive coordinator/QB coach.


Sports item below as well as obit from June 2, 2011, Oregonian

Memorial service to honor longtime high school football coach Jeff Basinski

A memorial service in honor of Jeff Basinski, a longtime Oregon high school football coach who died in his sleep Friday, is scheduled for June 12 at 1 p.m. at Forest Grove High School.

Basinski, 65, was head coach at Forest Grove from 1980 to 1991, leading the Vikings to records of 11-1 in 1981 and 10-1 in 1985. In his 41 seasons of coaching in the state, he also assisted at St. Helens, Sunset and Centennial, where he spent the last six years.

Basinski was a member of the 1965 Linfield team that played in the NAIA national championship game.
-- Jerry Ulmer


Note: A friend of Wildcatville attended the 1-3 p.m. Sunday June 12, 2011, Jeff Basinski “Celebration of Life” at Forest Grove High Schools’ Ellen Stevens Auditorium. Friend said the auditorium was packedIndeed, another Wildcatville friend, who also attended, said there were more than 400 in attendance and added, "The Big Cat touched a lot of lives."

Forest Grove News-Times, June 8, 2011Obituary: Jeffery BasinskiJeffery “Coach Bass” Basinski died Friday, May 27, 2011 in La Pine. A celebration of life gathering will be held Sunday, June 12, at 1 p.m. at Forest Grove High School.

He was born April 21, 1946 in Portland. He developed a love of sports at a very
young age when he spent time with his father Eddie in the Portland Beaver’s Dugout. He played football at Wilson High School where he graduated in 1964. He continued his football career as a member of the Linfield Wildcat Football Team. While at Linfield, he met his future wife, Connie. They were married in August of 1968 in Beaverton.

He earned his Masters in Education from Linfield in 1970 and began his career in coaching and teaching at St. Helens High School. In the fall of 1972, they moved to Beaverton where he began working at Sunset High School. While at Sunset High School, he was a part of the 1975 State Champion Football Team.

They moved to Forest Grove in the fall of 1976 where he began his 30-year career at Forest Grove High School.

He was honored to be a part of the 1976 State Finalist Football Team during his first year at Forest Grove High School. While at Forest Grove, he coached football, wrestling, basketball, track, and baseball. During his tenure there, he served as head coach in both football and wrestling. He led several teams to the league championship and coached three State Champion Wrestlers.

He was the Vice-Principal and Athletics & Activities Director at Forest Grove High School from 1995 until his retirement in 2005.

He enjoyed his retirement. He spent time traveling with family and friends to Mexico, Florida, Hawaii, and Arizona. He had recently returned from a Panama Canal Cruise. He continued coaching into his retirement with his son at Centennial High School. The family enjoyed fishing, hiking, and boating in central Oregon.

He had worked to establish the Hall of Fame to recognize the achievements of Athletes and Coaches at Forest Grove High School and had just been notified that he would be inducted.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Connie; son, BJ; daughter, Jaime; two grandchildren; his father, Eddie; brothers, Dave and Mike; and sisters, Megan and Mary.

Remembrances may be made to the American Diabetes Association in Portland, to the Forest Grove Hall of Fame at the Forest Grove High Athletic Department, or Centennial High School Football in Gresham.