Oliverio set to return as football coach at Hudson’s Bay

Mark Oliverio left Battle Ground after a season for a “homecoming” at Bay

When Mark Oliverio left as the head coach at Hudson’s Bay High School after the 2016 season, it was only because of a career move that required him to move to Ohio.

No way did he ever want to leave Hudson’s Bay.

Mark Oliverio, who was the head football coach at Battle Ground this past season, is set to return to Hudson’s Bay, where he helped turn around the Eagles program. Photo courtesy Mark Oliverio
Mark Oliverio, who was the head football coach at Battle Ground this past season, is set to return to Hudson’s Bay, where he helped turn around the Eagles program. Photo courtesy Mark Oliverio

Back in the Northwest, Oliverio got back into coaching and was the head coach at Battle Ground this past season.

He still would be with the Tigers, but something unpredictable occurred.

The Hudson’s Bay job opened.

“For me, it’s homecoming,” Oliverio said. “Just an opportunity to do what I felt was the right fit for me.”

Officially, Oliverio has not been hired by the school district, but Greg Roberts, the Hudson’s Bay athletic director, said Thursday that Oliverio is expected to be hired. Oliverio, in fact, is already roaming the halls at Hudson’s Bay, talking to athletes, making contact with parents, and preparing to take over for the Eagles once again.

Oliverio also has a message to Battle Ground.

“I wasn’t looking for an opportunity. This presented itself. The time is not perfect. It is not in my nature to go somewhere for a year.

“If it wasn’t Bay, I’d be staying.”

Oliverio had been an assistant at Bay. He took over as head coach in 2015. Bay went 2-25 in the previous three years. In 2014, Bay lost eight games, none of them close. In Oliverio’s first year, the Eagles won two games but lost four one-possession games. Then in 2016, the Eagles earned their first winning season in 14 years.

That’s when Oliverio’s job took him to Ohio. Ray Lions took over the program, and the Eagles made the playoffs in 2017. 

Lions decided he did not want to be the head coach anymore and resigned after the 2021 season, an opening for Oliverio. (Lions will remain on staff as the defensive coordinator.)

“He’s always had an affinity for Bay and the kids he serves at Bay,” Roberts said of Oliverio. “He understands the Bay kids so well. You should see him with these kids. It’s incredible. He’s such a magnet.”

Oliverio, Roberts added, knows the challenges associated with coaching at Bay. 

“For him to want to be at Bay … it’s so awesome,” Roberts said.

Oliverio said the players at Battle Ground were great to work with. It was a whirlwind of a season, with no full offseason program. Oliverio arrived, and it seemed like the season just kicked off. He appreciated the relationships he built at Battle Ground.

And, he expected to have a full offseason program and build at Battle Ground.

However, Oliverio said he could not pass up the shot to go back home to Hudson’s Bay.

With Oliverio leaving Battle Ground, and Mike Peck surprising just about everyone last week when he resigned at Prairie, Battle Ground Public Schools now has two vacant football positions. 

Heritage, in Evergreen Public Schools, also is searching for a new football coach. That job was expected to be posted this week. 

More coaching notes:

Heritage boys soccer

George Moya, who is the girls soccer coach at Hockinson, will take over the boys program at Heritage High School.

Jason Castro, the athletic director at Heritage, said Moya will remain the girls coach at Hockinson. Moya led the Hawks to the Class 2A state championship match in the fall. The boys soccer season is in the spring.

Moya has 15 years of coaching experience, at high schools and at the club level.

Seton Catholic cross country

Earlier this month, Seton Catholic got to celebrate, once again, its championship cross country season.

Jaysun Pyatt was named the Washington State Cross Country Coaches Association girls cross country coach of the year for Class 1A. 

Seton Catholic won the state championship in November.

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