By DANIEL WATTENBURGER
The East Oregonian
MISSION - Ceci Moses, longtime coach of the American Horse AAU basketball team and mother of the 2007-08 Class 5A girls' player of the year Shoni Schimmel, was hired as the girls' head basketball coach at Franklin High School in Portland Tuesday.
It is Moses' first high school coaching position, and the mother of seven said she was surprised to be selected after applying at several other schools over the past few months.
"Honestly I was going in thinking I wasn't going to get it," she said, "but God is opening some doors and it felt like the right opportunity."
Moses said she and her family will move to Portland where her two high school daughters, Shoni and Jude, will play for their mother on the Quakers.
Four candidates interviewed for the Class 6A coaching position and Franklin Athletic Director Scott Tangelo said Moses showed the most passion for the game, which ultimately tipped the scale in her favor.
"She was passionate about the job and being a part of the program and the high school, and that's really what stood out to us," Tangelo said about the seven-person committee's decision.
Franklin finished 1-11 and at the bottom of the Class 6A Portland Interscholastic League last winter, but Moses and Tangelo both feel the team is primed to be a playoff contender this winter.
The Quakers have made the playoffs seven times in the past 20 years and will retain coach Tom McCarthy as an assistant. McCarthy is also involved with the football team and the track program at Franklin.
Moses said she had only considered coaching high school basketball for the past year and said the move in no way reflects a negative feeling about Pendleton.
"It's not about Pendleton at all," she said. "We have great friends here. I think (Franklin) will be a great place for my kids to grow and a good place for us."
Moses has lived in the Pendleton area her entire life.
The move of Shoni and Jude Schimmel from the Pendleton program changes the complexion of the Intermountain Conference, with the previous front-running Buckaroos now seeming to fall on to a more level playing field with the rest of the league.
Pendleton has missed the playoffs in each of the past two years after going to the postseason 14 of the previous 15 years.