Josh Dykes wouldn't trade his present opportunity for the world.

Josh Dykes wouldn't trade his present opportunity for the world.

Lebanon High School's new football coach wouldn't trade his past either.

Named the Warriors' new leader earlier this month, the 1995 South Medford graduate said his time in the Rogue Valley helped pave his way in Lebanon.

"I would not trade my time in Medford for anything," said Dykes, who is 34. "That was the greatest experience for me growing up in a town where football is so serious. I was a product of guys who worked for (former Medford coach) Fred Spiegelberg. I learned the intensity of the organization, the passion for football and the importance of not doing things halfway ever. The aggressive type of football we played, it caters to the type of kids we work with now."

Dykes replaced Rob Allen, who stepped down after 30 years of involvement with the Warriors' program.

Allen will remain the school's athletic director.

"I was shouldering a lot of the responsibility because he was so busy being the AD," Dykes said. "He couldn't be there all the time, so it made sense."

Still, Dykes went through the hiring process like everyone else. He was chosen out of nearly 40 applicants.

Dykes was an all-league wide receiver his junior year at South Medford and an all-league running back his senior season. The Panthers had successful regular seasons but couldn't advance past the quarterfinal round in Dykes' time there.

Dykes played collegiately at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., and graduated from the school in 1999.

At Lebanon, Dykes has worked as the program's offensive coordinator the past five seasons. He was an assistant coach under then-head coach Brad Bauer beginning in 2001.

The weight training, PE and health teacher began working at the school full time in 2002.

Last season, the Warriors went 8-3 overall and 5-2 in the Mid-Willamette Conference.

Lebanon lost to Marist, 41-6, in the Class 5A state quarterfinals.

Dykes also replaced Allen as the school's head track and field coach. He had served in that capacity for 30 years.

Dykes' wife, Coray, is a former Oregon State women's soccer player. They have two boys, 2-year-old Jadon and 11-month-old Samuel.

The future looks bright for the Warriors, who return Mid-Willamette offensive player of the year Ben Duerr and a host of other key players.

Also, a new artificial turf field could be completed for the first home game in September.

"The support system has been so good here," Dykes said. "I am very fortunate to have it."

Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email djones@mailtribune.com