Aldridge Reflects On Move From Prairie To Clark

On his second attempt, Al Aldridge whittled his reasons for leaving Prairie High School to one word.

“Refreshing . . . revitalizing, that’s the word I’m looking for,” Aldridge said Wednesday after being introduced as women’s basketball coach at Clark College. “When you do something as long as I have, it can get stale.”

That’s why Aldridge is leaving Prairie after 32 years, 710 victories, and six state titles. And in case you missed it, we’ve had plenty of coverage:

The news that Aldridge was taking the Clark job;

Reaction from current and former players;

A column with some insight into how Clark landed him;

And coverage of his introduction at Clark.

Aldridge wasn’t exactly burned out from coaching at Prairie. His face still glows like a cherub when he starts talking about taking teams to Tacoma for the state tournament and competing at the highest level of high school basketball in the state.

But he’s ready to chase new goals such as an NWAACC title. He was asked if anything short of that will be a disappointment.

“Probably not a disappointment,” he said. “But I don’t want to wait three years to make it happen.”

He even poked a little dig at his critics when talking about the challenges of coaching at the college level: “I’ve been accused of recruiting so much in high school, I might as well see if I can do it.”

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