Our Board

Board Members

Bryan Sutherland


Bryan was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from what is now Eastern Oregon University, a Masters of Management from Willamette University, and a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies from what is now Western Oregon University. Bryan began his teaching career at South Albany High School (2 years) before moving to McKay High School (2 years), and South Salem High School (13 years). He finished his career as an assistant principal at West Salem High School (12 years) with the final eight years as Athletic Director. 

Bryan played baseball for four years during college and coached for 17 years during his teaching career. The bulk of his coaching was in football (15 years) but he also coached boys and girls basketball as well as baseball and softball at various points.

Bryan helps with Salem Sports and Breakfast Club and has been the President of the Salem-Keizer High School Sports Booster Club (sponsoring "The Beacons") since 2017. He is currently coaching softball at South Salem.

Bryan has been married to his wife Lorrie (who taught at Sprague High School for 32 years) for 41 years and has a daughter – Alex – who was an athlete at Sprague who lives in Enterprise, Oregon with husband Nick and their two boys.

Scott Whipple


Scott was born in Salem, and grew up in Drain, Oregon in a ranching and timber family, and spent most of his summers working on the family ranch. Scott graduated from North Douglas High School in Drain and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in History from Western Oregon University, and a Master of Arts Teaching from Pacific University in Forest Grove.

Scott has been a social studies teacher for 27 years: two years at Aloha High in Beaverton and four at South Salem before being a member of the staff that opened West Salem High in 2002. He is currently in his 22nd year as a Titan. He has served in various leadership roles throughout his time as a teacher, including as the Social Science Department Coordinator at WSHS for 17 years. He also has served as a mentor to numerous pre-service teachers and has provided professional development for the Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Council for Social Science, Salem-Keizer School District, and West Salem High. He also published a book - Writing Strategies for U.S. History - which is a manual for literacy development in the Social Studies classroom.

Over his teaching career it might have been almost as easy to find Scott on a court or field as a coach, or sitting in the bleachers in a gym or at a field as a parent, as finding him in his classroom. He has coached high school baseball (Aloha) and basketball (South Salem and West Salem). But with four children who have all been high school varsity athletes at West Salem - Hannah (volleyball and basketball), Paige (volleyball, basketball, softball), Holden (football and basketball), and Hudson (football, basketball & track), Scott and wife Taffy have spent a good deal of their adult lives participating in high school athletics - as parents. Scott also has spent the last several years as the Academic Adviser for Titan football and, in 2022-23, resumed his high school coaching career as a volunteer with the Titan boys basketball team.

Scott has also coached multiple youth sports including basketball, football, baseball, and soccer. He has a unique and developmental coaching style with youth. He understands the role of a coach in training future high school athletes.

Scott and Taffy, also from a timber family in Drain, have been married for 32 years and have lived in Salem the entire time, where they have raised their family. Taffy was a 3-sport star in high school and played college volleyball at WOU. Together the two have emphasized to their four children all of the positive life skills that come from high school athletics. Hudson is the only child left at home and will graduate from WSHS in 2025. Hannah is an Oregon State graduate who is now working at OSU as the athletic trainer for women’s rowing and a proud Beaver. Paige is a University of Arizona graduate where she was a four-year starting volleyball player and ambassador for Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Holden was a scholarship football player at the University of Northern Arizona before pursuing a dream and transferring to the University of Oregon where he is currently part of the Oregon Duck football team. All are proud West Salem grads.

Mike Maghan


Mike Maghan was born in Pennsylvania to a military family, living in Alaska, New Mexico, and California. Mike graduated high school from Archbishop Mitty in San Jose, California and college from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and Science Education. He also received a Masters from Oregon College of Education (now Western Oregon University) in Interdisciplinary Studies (Geology, Biology, Education) and his high school administrative certificate from Portland State University. Mike is also a Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) and a Certified Masters of Athletic Administration (CMAA).

Mike was a science teacher for 14 years - Sacred Heart Academy (4) and Gervais High School(10) and an Athletic Director for 31 years: Sacred Heart for 2 years, Gervais for 8 years, Dallas High School for 6 years, and McNary High School for 15 years. He also coached boys and girls basketball during his career in education (winning a 2A girls state championship in girls in 1988), girls softball (winning a 2A state champion 1988), as well as baseball and track and field.

Mike has been president of the Oregon Athletic Directors Association (OADA), a member of the Oregon Schools Activities Association (OSAA) Executive Board for 6 years, a Keizer Rotary Club president, and a state liaison for the Principles of Coaching courses and certification.

Mike has been a leader both in Oregon and nationally working with coaches and athletic directors promoting character education for student-athletes. He also helped develop the curriculum for the Principles of Coaching course that is used throughout the United States for all athletic coaches.

Mike has  lived in Keizer for 43 years. He and wife Jan have been married for 46 years and have 3 sons - Timothy, Jason, and Matthew and 7 grandchildren.

Ron Richards


Ron Richards, recently retired as Athletics Director at both McKay and McNary, has a long history in athletics.  

After competing in football and basketball at Butte Public High School in Butte, Montana and playing college football at the University of Montana, Ron began his coaching career as an assistant offensive line coach at the U of M.  Ron was a teacher and football coach at Butte High School for eleven years before moving to Montana Technological University as an assistant coach/offensive coordinator. He then moved to South Dakota School of Mines and Technology as the head football coach. Ron returned to his alma mater – the University of Montana in 2000 - serving as offensive coordinator for the "Griz" - and finished his coaching career.  

In 2001 Richards moved to Salem to become the Athletics Director at McKay High School where he served for eight years before moving on to McNary High in the same position. In 2017, after sixteen years as an AD, he retired.

"Athletics have played an essential role in my life and define who I am.  Without the guidance of my high school coaches I would not have had the career I experienced.  They motivated me to become the person I am today."  For this reason his passion to help as many of our youth experience high school sports as possible is real motivation.

Ron lives with his wife Debbie in Salem and enjoys spending time with his sons and their families, especially his grandchildren. He is an avid outdoorsman and golfer, currently serving as president of the Salem Golf Club.

Nancy Cox


Nancy Cox was born and raised in Seattle, Washington where she lived until she moved to Salem, her husband John’s home town, in late 1993 with their two young sons. As she enters her 30th year in the Salem community she is proud to call it home!

Nancy has been a United States Professional Tennis Association Elite Professional since 1996. Her USPTA honors include: two years on the USPTA National Board of Directors; two years on the USPTA National Nominating Committee; two years on the USPTA National Foundation Board, eight years on the USPTA Pacific Northwest Division Board, including a six-year term as president; Pacific Northwest Division Assistant Professional of the Year and Pacific Northwest Division Professional of the Year. 

She was selected, along with her Mercer Island High School team, to the State of Washington High School Tennis Hall of Fame. She attended the University of Washington where she was a four-year Varsity tennis athlete. She was previously Director of Tennis at Illahe Hills Country Club as well as on the staff at Salem Tennis & Swim Club and Courthouse Tennis Center. Other employment has included management of orthopedic clinics, internal bookkeeping for CPA firms and a private school and as a front office staff member at South Salem High while her boys were students there. 

Each spring she coaches the South Salem High School Girl’s Tennis team. She will enter her ninth year in that capacity in February 2023. Nancy feels that being a tennis coach is an opportunity to give back to the sport that has enriched her life both personally and professionally. Nancy’s husband John is a South Salem and Oregon State grad. Her sons Matt and Chad both attended South and were involved in South Salem athletics as well as collegiate athletics at the University of Puget Sound and Oregon State. 

It is an honor to be a part of the Beacons Board and to help support current athletes in reaching their athletic and academic goals.

Mark Gilman


Mark Gilman is Salem born and bred. He grew up watching his dad Jerry coach the offensive line at South Salem High.  Mark began playing football as an 11-year-old when the local Boys Club began sponsoring teams.  He subsequently played through junior high school and then at Sprague High School, where he was “a hard hitting, but decidedly average” part-time starter for the Olympians his senior year.  Gilman's sports experience left an indelible mark on his life, and he was determined to keep sports in his life.

Mark has been a big part of high school sports coverage for the Salem-Keizer area since the mid 1980s.  As a sportscaster for three different radio stations—most recently KBZY Radio—he has been on hand to observe many historic events involving Salem-Keizer high school sports teams and brought the high school sports experience to many, many people.

Mark actually got into radio broadcasting as a teenager, spinning records at Christian Radio Station KCCS, at the age of 18.  He obtained a Television Production degree at Mount Hood Community College in 1980.  That experience included work at Oregon Public Broadcasting and an invaluable radio internship at KEX Radio, where he helped to cover the eruption of Mount Saint Helens.

After graduation from MHCC, Mark began working at KGAY (now KYKN) Radio, where he cut his teeth as a news reporter and then news director.  Gilman was recognized numerous times by the Associated Press as a result of his eight years of work with KGAY.

In 1986 KYKN Radio made changes that allowed the station to broadcast at night.  KYKN added sportscasting veteran and mentor Mike Allegre who taught Gilman the craft of sports announcing.  He began with playoff games for Salem Academy football and later moved to football and basketball games for the McNary Celtics.  Allegre eventually took his broadcast talents to Portland. His departure opened a door. Through that door walked Mark and his dad Jerry, the broadcasting duo so familiar throughout Salem-Keizer and who have given so many hours and so much effort to support, honor, appreciate, and promote high school athletics.

Eventually Mark became a teacher.  He began his classroom career at Silverton High School in 1991, moving to North Salem High School in '98 as an English teacher.  He “graduated” as a Viking when he retired in 2020 after a 30 year career.

Mark and Jerry’s father-son broadcasting partnership, which began in 1987, developed into a dedicated focus on Salem-Keizer athletics. As of 2021, Mark has broadcast 17 separate state championship events for football, basketball and baseball—most of which included Jerry.  The duo’s enthusiasm and good humor entertained audiences for years, and earned Mark and Jerry the appreciation of a community, not to mention a handful of honors.

Mark's focus on local prep sports has never wavered, although he did expand his own efforts to include other arenas.  He spent six memorable seasons broadcasting football and basketball for his alma mater, Western Oregon University.  Before that, he spent two seasons with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes minor league baseball squad. For six summers Mark teamed with local broadcast buddies Allegre and Craig Spivey to set up and provide radio and online broadcasts of games from the Little League Softball World Series in Portland.

Despite losing Jerry, Mark's broadcast career has marched on. Long-time local football coach Rick Lacey and former Statesman-Journal sportswriter Gary Horowitz joined Mark to keep the focus on high school athletics.

The COVID-19 pandemic was a tough time for all of sports, but especially for prep sports.  When the regular seasons were canceled, most coaches and broadcasters were not optimistic that any games would be played.  But they were wrong.  Although schedules were shortened and juggled on the calendar, local teams were allowed to play.  And those games were aired on KBZY with Gilman behind the mic.

A great addition to Mark's broadcasting experience was the establishment of Capital Community Television – CCTV. CCTV also provided extensive coverage of local sports for the Salem-Keizer area.  Working with CCTV (now Capital Community Media) over three decades sharpened Mark’s skills in front of the camera.

Mark and his wife, Theresa have been married since 1981.  They have three adult daughters—Heidi, Jamie and Kristy.

Darcie Jones


Darcie Jones  joins the board of the Salem-Keizer High School Sports Booster Club, which sponsors The Beacons, as a fourth generation Salem native and lifelong supporter of kids.  Her long career in the Salem-Keizer School District as a School Counselor has cemented her belief in the importance of helping every student find a “connector” to their school community, and athletics is invariably a valuable part of this mission.  Unfortunately, many kids in the Salem-Keizer community face barriers to participation, many of which involve financial means, so joining the Board of S-KHSSBC was a natural next step for her.

Darcie has a varied background in her involvement with athletics and her Salem-Keizer roots, and connection to those athletics, run very deep. Darcie grew up on the fields and courts of Salem-Keizer area schoolyards as the daughter of a Salem-Keizer student-athlete, teacher, coach, and administrator - Tom Pickens - who himself was a lifelong resident of Salem.  Dad “got” athletics, Darcie “gets” athletics. She went on to support kids as a volunteer and staff member with Young Life, a non-denominational Christian organization, which motivated her to obtain a master’s degree in School Counseling from Oregon State University.  A long and very distinguished career as a school counselor in the S-KSD followed. Before her retirement she served as a mentor for many of the counselors currently serving in district schools and became one of the S-KSD’s most valuable counseling resources, often called upon in times of school crisis.

Darcie has been married to Bob Jones for 42 years. Bob, like dad, was an outstanding student-athlete, teacher, coach, and district administrator. Bob served as a coach of many sports at the high school level over many of those years, including football, boys and girls basketball and softball.  The most important “assistant” a high school coach has throughout their coaching career is their spouse or significant other. Darcie was Bob’s most valuable “assistant” throughout his coaching career and, as a result, gained invaluable insight into the value of athletics in our high schools. She has seen many kids experience the difference that sports can make in their lives, including her own, now adult, children.

Darcie and Bob are the proud parents of four adult children, whose athletic involvement has included football, cross country, boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball, track, and tennis.  It is her hope that her two grandchildren will have the same opportunities to be involved with sports and other extra-curricular activities as they grow, which will take a commitment from us all to ensure ALL kids have the chance to participate.

Sam Mendez


Sam Mendez grew up in Mesa, Arizona and moved to Salem, Oregon in 2006.  He attended Eastern Oregon University where he studied Business Management. Sam began working at South Salem High School in 2006 as a Bilingual Instructional Assistant. Since then he has held various positions at South Salem High School in the attendance, discipline, and counseling offices, where he currently works as a Data Specialist at South Salem High School. In 2013 he was also a Crystal Apple nominee.

Sam played football and became a 'student of the game', while he was a student at Mountain View High School in Mesa, Arizona. When he moved to Salem, he brought his love of sports to South Salem High School where he has coached all levels of football since 2008, Boys basketball at all three levels since 2006, and JV softball since 2017. Besides coaching, Sam helps coordinate the athletic website and all of the social media for the various sports programs at South Salem High School and helps coordinate the Saxon Football Golf Tournament. 

This is Sam's first year serving on the Salem-Keizer High School Sports Booster Club board and he is excited to bring his computer, social media, and planning knowledge to the community. 

Sam has been married to his wife Sara Mendez for 15 years and they have a son, Salvador, who will turn 3 in August. In his spare time you can find Sam, camping, hiking, and fishing.  

Mickey Toft


Mickey Toft was born in Monrovia, California in 1956.  He moved with his family to Salem, Oregon in 1966 at the age of ten.  He attended Waldo Middle School and graduated from McNary High School in 1974 where he was a multi-sport - baseball and football, multi-year varsity athlete for the Celtics.

Mickey then attended Linfield College and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1978 and a Masters in Education in 1982. He played baseball for the Wildcats (with Ad Rutschman as his head coach) for four years as an undergraduate then coached football (assisting Rutschman and working with Mike Riley) for two years, and baseball (again assisting Rutschman) for one year while working toward his Masters degree.

Mickey began his career as an educator as a PE and Health teacher at North Salem High School in 1978 where he also coached football, basketball, and baseball.  After two years, district budget reductions led to his transfer to Keizer Elementary School where he served as a PE Specialist.  During this time he continued to coach three sports between McKay and Sprague High Schools before moving to Medford, Oregon to become both head boys basketball and head baseball coach at St. Mary's High School. 

After a two year stint at St. Mary's, Mickey and his family moved to Albany where he taught math at South Albany High School and served as an assistant football coach, the head girls basketball coach, and co-head coach for the baseball team. Following a 15 year teaching career, Mickey moved into school administration. He worked as an assistant principal and both a high school and middle school principal in the McMinnville School District before transferring to Tigard High School where he worked as a building administrator for another 12 years. In 2015 Mickey retired after 37 years as an educator.

Upon retirement, still residing in McMinnville, Mickey became a certified personal trainer.  Now living in Salem, he continues to train a limited number of clients.  Occasionally Mickey returns to his educational roots to serve as an interim building principal at Tigard and Tualatin High Schools when the need arises.  Recently Mickey became a member of the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club and in March took a seat on the Beacons board.

Mickey has been married 42 years to his wife Gayle Saxton Toft who is a retired second grade teacher.  Mickey and Gayle have two daughters and one son.  Erin (36) lives in Portland, Elaina (33) resides in Wenatchee, Washington, and Bryan (29) recently moved to Monsteras, Sweden.  All three were three-sport athletes and graduated from McMinnville High School. Erin works in the entertainment field as a costumer designer, make-up artist, and set designer for TV and films. Elaina is a massage therapist. Bryan plans to begin grad school in Sweden, working in the health field.

Amy West


Amy West was born in Florence, Oregon and grew up nearby in Mapleton, Oregon, where her parents still reside. After graduating from Mapleton High School, Amy attended Western Oregon University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a pre-med emphasis. She simultaneously completed WOU's Athletic Training Program and after passing the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) Board of Certification for Athletic Trainer exam, she became a certified Athletic Trainer. Amy received her Master of Arts in Teaching from Willamette University and her initial Administrative License through Portland State University.

Amy began her career at Sprague High School, where she became the school's first Certified Athletic Trainer, a position she held for 26 years before retiring from those duties. During her time in this role, she assisted with running the Athletic Training Program at Hope Orthopedics of Oregon and in 2018, she was awarded the Gatorade Secondary School Athletic Trainer Award for her efforts as an athletic trainer. She continues to stay active in the profession by serving as a member of the  Oregon Athletic Trainers' Society Honors and Awards Committee.

Amy continues to work at Sprague High School as a licensed educator. She teaches in Sprague's Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy program, a program she started and has helped to develop as an approved Oregon Department of Education Career Technical Education Program.  She is also a member of the Sprague Hall of Fame Induction Selection Committee.

Amy has lived in Oregon her entire life and has lived in Salem for the past 25+ years. In her free time, she spends it with her friends and family.