Football, volleyball jobs open at OHS

The Olympic Trojans didn’t have the best fall sports season, with the football team finishing just 3-7 and the volleyball team just 3-11.

That’s just one of the reasons the Trojans now seek to fill head coaching vacancies in the two sports.

Carlton Cooper, who had been Oly’s head football coach for three seasons and part of the coaching staff for eight, wasn’t invited back at the end of the fall season. Cooper lives and works in Fife, which was one of the reasons Oly athletic director Steve Lutz said it was time for a change.

“It’s just hard to build a program from so far,” Lutz said. “After eight years, it just wasn’t going to work out.”

The Trojans went 10-19 in Cooper’s three seasons at the helm. Cooper also agreed the travel distance played into the decision.

“Essentially, they decided they wanted someone closer,” Cooper said. “If not in the building, in the district. I would have rather stayed on one more year and ended on a better note. But in hindsight, it might be best for all.”

Cooper said he had one interview for a head coaching position this season but did not get the job. He said he will likely work as an assistant coach at Fife High School while continuing to coach baseball at Surprise Lake Middle School, also in Fife. Next season, Cooper said he plans to pursue another head coaching job.

“We had a lot of fun with our kids,” Cooper said. “The parents were pretty suppportive. We had some great team dinners. The commute I won’t miss as much, but you get used to it after eight seasons.”

The Lady Trojans volleyball coach last season, David Miller, did not return due to personal reasons, Lutz said.

Lutz stressed the importance of having someone in the building for both sports as a necessary foundation on which to build a program.

“We’ll look at all these pieces,” Lutz said. “To build the programs, we have to have someone in the building. That’s what my goal is. To figure out a way to get the best coach and teacher into the building.”

For both positions, Lutz said there are seven main criteria he’s looking at in potential candidates.

The first criteria is coaching experience. But the second is just as important in Oly’s rising athletics program: A commitment to strength training. Lutz said he also wants to see the demonstrated abilities to develop a program, guide other position coaches and skill players, motivate kids and work with parents. Knowledge, training and experience with football or volleyball in general will also be considered.

“And not only the philosophies about coaching, but also things like how do they manage practice,” Lutz said. “These are just some things we’ll look to.”

The football position officially opened in February while the volleyball job didn’t open until March 29. As a result, Lutz said he’s seen interest in the football position, but expects it will take a little longer for the volleyball position to catch up.

“I’m pretty excited about a number of applicants that have applied (for the football job),” Lutz said. “Many have called. We’ve had some come in and look at the facilities.”

Lutz said so far about 10 candidates are in the early running for the position. Either way, he expects whoever comes aboard to help Oly finish turning the corner.

“We’ll get an idea of what we want to do,” he said. “But I really believe Oly will have a resurgence in sports.”

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