The Redmond School District is looking to quickly fill another football head coaching vacancy at Redmond High.
After one season leading the Panthers, Brent Wasche accepted a job as a physical education teacher at Port Angeles High on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. He worked as head wrestling and assistant football coach for two years there starting in 2015, before a family medical situation led him back to his native Texas. After a year as an assistant in Lampasas, Wasche came to Redmond in 2018, leading the Panthers to a 2-7 record in his first head football stint.
While he said loves all the coaches, players and administrators in Redmond, Wasche missed Port Angeles. He loves the area around Olympic National Park and found the cost of living a little lower for a teacher than it is in Central Oregon.
“I think they understand that we got something started,” Wasche told the Spokesman in a phone interview. “My hope is that Kevin Bryant, who is an amazing athletic director, will be able to find a new coach who is able to take over the program...It’s hard to leave, but I have full faith in Kevin and my assistants.”
By Tuesday afternoon, Bryant was well on his way in a coaching search. He said eight people had applied for the job, with interviews planned later this week and a decision possible by the end of the week. He said they will likely hire a coach from outside the program.
While every job search is different, Bryant said that with 7-on-7 going on and official practice starting Aug. 19, keeping players from getting frustrated is important. Bryant learned of Wasche’s departure two weeks ago.
Wasche has a preference for a coach the Panthers should hire, but declined to say who it is.
“I know there are some great candidates they’ll be interviewing,” he said.
Bryant, the district’s athletic director, is also filling the head baseball coach position at Redmond. Doug Taylor recently took over as assistant principal at the school. Bryant looks to interview baseball coaches next week.
“It’s really an exciting time for Doug, but a challenging time for our kids,” Bryant said.
Bryant noted that 10 incoming seniors are expected to play both football and baseball. While this will be their first coaching change in baseball, they will have seen four head football coaches in four years.
Nathan Stanley left for an athletic director job in Portland after leading Redmond to back-to-back state Class 5A football quarterfinal appearances in 2015 and 2016. Gene Dales, who was defensive coordinator on those quarterfinal teams, led Redmond to a 1-8 record in 2017, his only season as head coach. The Wasche had his lone season.
“It’s not what you want for our kids or our community,” said Bryant, who took over after Dales was named coach. “But we’ve got some really top candidates.”
A job posting on the district’s website lists the pay for the football coach as between $5,326 and $7,117 for the season. The baseball coaching job is listed as paying between $3,644 and $5,580 for the season.
Just a month ago, Wasche was talking about looking forward to the new season at Redmond, planning a switch to a spread offense after working out of a more run-heavy system in 2018. With three losses last season coming in the fourth quarter, he looked to turn things around.
“I feel like I’m leaving Redmond High better than I found it,” Wasche said Tuesday. “I don’t want to put too much pressure on the new guy, but he’s got an amazing group of kids.”
Wasche said he has long been looking to return to Port Angeles, and that physical education jobs are not easy to come by there, with the last he knows of opening four years ago. He said he does not have immediate plans to coach there.
After graduating high school in the Fort Worth area, Wasche had two stints as a college football player, at Texas A&M-Commerce and North Texas. In between his stints in college was service in the Marine Corps from 1999-2003, which included time in Baghdad. He later coached as defensive coordinator and linebackers and special teams coach at several Texas schools before taking a job in Port Angeles for the first time.
Bryant praised the way Wasche got involved with the school in Redmond, attending events for Panther teams like swimming and tennis. Wasche even coached wrestling at Elton Gregory Middle School. Bryant said he wasn’t aware of Wasche’s interest in returning to Port Angeles and was “very much” surprised to hear of his decision.
“He was so involved in our community, he made a huge impression,” Bryant said.
— Reporter: 541-548-2186, firstname.lastname@example.org