Lease becomes Head Women’s Basketball Coach at NAIA Oregon Tech

Oregon Tech athletic director John Van Dyke has announced the hiring of Joy Lease as the seventh women’s basketball head coach in program history.
Lease is no stranger to the program, as the legendary Oregon prep coach was the top assistant to interim head coach Paul Poetsch during the 2022-23 season – leading the Lady Owls to a 21-9 overall record and trip to the Cascade Conference Tournament semifinals.
Joy Lease did a tremendous job this season on the bench, developing an extremely young team and helping the squad place fourth in the difficult Cascade Conference,” Van Dyke said. “I am excited to see the success this program will have with Joy at the helm.”
A 1996 Linfield University graduate, Lease spent two decades as a high school coach in Oregon, with stops at Willamina High, Santiam High and most recently, Mazama High. She led Santiam to the 2009 state crown and added a runner-up finish in 2007, while winning a 4A title at Mazama in 2013. Lease won 337 games during her high school coaching career, was a 6-time Skyline Conference Coach of the Year and earned the OSAA Girls Basketball Coach of the Year honor in 2013.
“I am incredibly excited for the opportunity to lead this group of outstanding women,” Lease said. “I hope to continue what Paul Poetsch started last season and build on the previous success of the Oregon Tech women’s basketball program.  I would like to thank the hiring committee for giving me the chance to be a permanent part of the OIT community.”
The Lady Owls are coming off their first 20-win season since 2019 – with the team posting a stellar 21-1 record against teams not ranked in the NAIA Top-25 and tying a school record with 16 Cascade Conference wins. Tech will return three starters, including All-America guard, Olivia Sprague, plus adding a stellar recruiting class that will be announced in the coming weeks.
Lease becomes the third female coach in program history – and first since the women’s basketball program at OIT was reinstated in 2002. Mary Bradford began the initial women’s team in 1975 and served as coach for 14 years, with Robin Parker handling the duties for two seasons before budget cuts from Oregon Measure 5 disbanded the team in 1992.

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