By Jeremy Mcdonald
INDEPENDENCE, Ore.– Central Head Coacg Dean Sanderson has stepped down as Head Coach of the Panthers program. An emotional day points Sanderson as he leaves a program that reached the 5A postseason in back-to-back seasons and were one of the top teams academically.
“It’s been a tough emotional day as I resigned as the basketball coach at Central High School. Being a Panther has been a privilege and a great fit for me. Unfortunately, this season of life with my family isn’t going to make it possible for me to continue giving everything to being the best coach I can be at Central,” Sanderson said. “More importantly, you all were a joy to be around and were great kids and leaders for our community. This year’s Varsity team finished with a 3.58 team GPA, the best I’ve ever had as a coach, and Top 3 in 5A. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to me and the program. I’m grateful for the time I’ve had with each of you. I’ve learned from you and hoped you’ve learned a thing or two from our coaching staff.’
Sanderson, in his three years at the helm for Central, went 29-33 overall and was 21-13 in Mid-Willamette Conference play. The former McKay coach took over the program during the Covid-Shortened season, turning a four-win program into a 15-win squad this past Winter with the Panthers going 15-10 before falling to La Salle Prep in the 5A Opening round 46-35.