Former assistant coach elevated to head coach last month
A year ago, Kevin Coad returned to coaching in a limited capacity on staff with the Union Titans.
He was a defensive coordinator a few years back, but as he and his wife’s family grew, he was pulled to take a break from football to focus on home.
He does not regret it at all. Being a dad is, well, the priority.
Still, he missed football.
So he returned last year to help out with the Titans.
He does not expect to miss any more football seasons for decades.
Kevin Coad is now the interim head coach for the Union Titans, taking over in July after Rory Rosenbach resigned to take a sports administration job in his home town of Sammamish.
“It’s still an interim thing,” Coad acknowledged Wednesday during the team’s first practice of the 2023 season.
In title only, though. As far as Coad is concerned, if he and the staff do things as planned, he will be with the Titans for many, many seasons.
“I am operating under (the idea) that this is a 30-year gig for me,” Coad said.
“I want this. Nobody wants to go into something with uncertainty. Let’s give them, the powers-that-be, as little reason to consider somebody else as possible. Let’s do things the right way, on and off the field.”
Wednesday was the first official day of high school football season for all high school programs in the state. The first Friday of the regular season is fast approaching, coming up on Sept. 1.
The Titans will be led by an athlete who excelled in high school football in Clark County back in the day, and is now a teacher at Union High School.
“I didn’t know if I ever wanted to be a head coach,” Coad said. “I loved coaching ball. I took a step away, and missed it. But I didn’t know if I wanted to be a head coach.”
When Rosenbach announced his departure, though, many of the players reached out to Coad, asking him to consider the role.
“I got an opportunity to serve a bunch of young men who I love like crazy,” Coad said. “So let’s go.”
Things happened quickly. As noted when Rosenbach resigned, the timing was not ideal. A coaching change a month before the season starts? That can make for a tough transition.
But if the players were shocked, they did not show it, Coad said.
“I don’t feel like we missed a beat or anything,” Coad said, referring to workouts in July. “They got more juiced. You don’t have the face of the franchise, if you will, but there are a bunch of guys you have great relationships with (assistant) coaches who are still around, loving you up, and coaching you like crazy.”
No other coaches on the staff left the program after Rosenbach stepped down.
It’s go-time for the Titans, now under new management.
Coad graduated from Evergreen High School in 2004. His senior year of football, the fall of 2003, saw the Plainmen reach the state semifinals. The next year, the Plainsmen won the state title. Coad helped with the foundation of that title, playing for then coach Cale Piland for three seasons. And when Coad was a freshman, Jon Eagle was Evergreen’s head coach.
“I was coached by a lot of the best to do it in our area,” Coad said. “And what they do better than Xs and Os is develop great young men. People with accountability, people with strong habits. Kids choose to be out here. As a teacher, you don’t get kids who choose to be in school. They have to be in school. To come out here, it’s a choice. By choosing that, you choose to hold yourself to a higher standard. You choose to do things the right way.”
Coad said that is what he most remembers about his high school playing days.
And that is what he will emphasize as a head coach.
“That stuff excites me the most and keeps me coming back,” Coad said.
The competitive fire is there, too.
“My expectations are we’re going to come compete and win some freakin’ games and put the Titans back on the map,” Coad said.
And along the way, build character.
“I love this team. Win, lose or draw, we’re going to become better individuals all around,” Coad said.
- State arm wrestling championships ready to flex Saturday in VancouverArmSports Entertainment, founded and owned by a Clark County arm wrestler, is hosting more than 300 competitors for the Washington State Arm Wrestling Championships at Kiggins Theater on Saturday.
- Vancouver Lightning to host match Saturday night in indoor soccer leagueVancouver Lightning, a new semi-professional arena soccer team, is playing in the Western Indoor Soccer League.
- Girls basketball: Titan great Tee Anderson returns to Union as Columbia River’s head coachTuileisu “Tee” Anderson still holds several program records from her time playing at Union High School, but on Wednesday she went to Union as a visitor, as the new head coach at Columbia River High School.
- Washougal 5th grade runners compete at Junior Olympics Regional XC meetAnava and Joela Grundy, 5th grade students at Columbia River Gorge Elementary, competed at the USATF Junior Olympics Regional XC Meet in Athol, Idaho, on Nov. 18.
- Opinion: Seton Catholic’s loss in state semifinals reminiscent of Hockinson’s rise to gloryHigh school football: Seton Catholic lost in the Class 1A state semifinals on Saturday in a game that reminded an old coach, and old journalist, of a game in 2014 that would eventually catapult Hockinson to back-to-back state championships.