Redmond and Ridgeview high schools both announced the hirings of new football coaches recently. While they took different paths to their first head varsity football coaching jobs in Central Oregon, they share a goal of returning their teams to being state title contenders after 1-8 seasons.

Ridgeview’s Patrick Pileggi comes to the Ravens after coaching in the Salem area for most of his 15 year career, while Redmond’s Brent Wasche, an Iraq War veteran, spent most of his career in the football hotbed of Texas.

Ridgeview’s Patrick Pileggi

Pileggi is wrapping up his time at Sprague High in Salem, which finished first or second in its Class 6A conference in five of his six years there. He served as offensive coordinator and junior varsity head coach in 2017, when Sprague went 9-2 (7-1 in the Greater Valley Conference) reaching the second round of the playoffs.

Pileggi, 37, who also coached the offensive line, said he likes to have physical football teams. But the impact he makes on the players is also important.

“As far as coaching goes, it’s important to understand that our job is not only to win football games but to build high-character young men,” he told the Spokesman on a March 18 visit to Redmond.

Pileggi fell in love with football while playing it at Regis High School in Stayton and at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, where he played on the offensive and defensive lines, he said.

He has served as an assistant to successful coaches Shane Hedrick at Central and Jay Minyard at McKay and Sprague.

“Pat has been the most reliable and highly performing assistant coach I have ever had. He is a kid magnet, an extremely hard worker and is very organized,” Minyard said in a statement.

Pileggi has family in the area and visits often. He said he’s long felt Central Oregon would be a good place to coach.

“When the opportunity came open, it was one of those things we had to go for, and we said, ‘Let’s do it,’ ” he said.

Pileggi and his family plan to move to Redmond in time for summer football camps. He wants to encourage the players to believe in themselves.

“They have to buy into the work ethic and understand that games aren’t won on Friday nights, they’re won this time of year and throughout the summer,” he said.

Both the Redmond and Ridgeview jobs brought in around 60 applications apiece, with some coaches applying for both positions, said Redmond School District Athletic Director Kevin Bryant. Six of the applicants had college coaching experience and others had taken high school teams to state championship games as head coaches.

But one thing that made Pileggi stand out was a recommendation from Dave Johnson with the Nike/Oregon Athletic Coaches Association Coach of the Year Football Clinic in Portland. Johnson praised a presentation Pileggi gave alongside top college and high school coaches from across the country.

“We had a great pool, but Pat won the day,” Bryant said.

Pileggi said his presentation dealt with getting an offensive line to come together as a cohesive unit.

“It was a fun experience,” he said. “I was very honored to do it.”

Pileggi, who also has track coaching experience, will teach physical education at Ridgeview.

Pileggi replaces Andy Codding, who led Ridgeview to a Class 4A state title in 2013 but oversaw consecutive 1-8 seasons in 2016 and 2017.

Redmond’s Brent Wasche

Wasche most recently coached at Lampasas, near Fort Hood, in Central Texas. Though he hasn’t been a head football coach, he also has high school assistant coaching experience at Keller Timber Creek, Lewisville and Seagoville in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as well as Port Angeles, Washington, where he was also head wrestling coach. Bryant said in a statement that Wasche has served as a defensive coordinator, linebackers and special teams coach and provided leadership in speed, strength and conditioning.

“Brent Wasche will provide the type of transformational leadership that will impact our students in the weight room, in the classroom and on the field,” Bryant said. “Brent has been preparing for this opportunity for many years. His knowledge, passion, commitment to excellence, and vision will reestablish Redmond Panther football as a state championship contender. We look forward to beginning our work together toward this goal.”

Wasche graduated high school in North Richland Hills, Texas, near Fort Worth, and played offensive line collegiately at the University of North Texas. He served as an infantry squad leader in the Marine Corps, including a tour of duty in Baghdad, and graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a kinesiology degree in 2009. He is working on a master’s degree in athletic administration at Concordia University in Nebraska.

“My professional goal has always been to lead a football program at the high school level and I have worked diligently in preparation for the opportunity,” Wasche said in the statement. “Throughout my career I have always placed an emphasis on building relationships, instilling discipline and developing athletes of character. I believe in my system, experience and abilities and I am confident that I will lead the Redmond Panther football program in the pursuit of excellence.”

Wasche will also teach biology and physical education at Redmond. Bryant said Wasche hopes to be moved to the area by the end of May.

The search for new coaches began in December, Bryant said.

Wasche will be the third coach for the Panthers in three seasons. After leading Redmond to consecutive appearances in the Class 5A state quarterfinals, former coach Nathan Stanley left to become athletic director at Cleveland High in Portland. Stanley was replaced by former defensive coordinator Gene Dales, who led the Panthers to a 1-8 season in 2017.

— Reporter: 541-548-2186,