Sean McDonald leaving Woodland to become Mountain View’s football coach

Sean McDonald, shown here in 2022, is leaving Woodland to become the head coach at Mountain View football. File photo
Sean McDonald, shown here in 2022, is leaving Woodland to become the head coach at Mountain View football. File photo

McDonald won state titles at Kalama, a league title at Woodland, and now is making the move to Mountain View

Paul Valencia

Mountain View has found itself a winner, and a championship football coach is leaving Woodland to come to Vancouver.

Sean McDonald, who won three state championships while at Class 2B Kalama and then won the Class 2A Greater St. Helens League this past season with the Woodland Beavers, has accepted the head coaching position at Mountain View in Vancouver.

“I’ve always wanted to get to that 3A/4A level. I’ve followed (former coach Adam) Mathieson’s career at Mountain View. The program has great roots,” McDonald said.

Adam Mathieson resigned between the 2022 and 2023 seasons after 14 years with the Thunder. Aaron Hart took over for one season, continuing the program’s winning ways with a 9-2 record, a league title, and a state playoff berth. Hart, however, resigned earlier this year, noting that a change in his full-time job was going to make it difficult for him to give the football program his full attention.

That left McDonald with this opportunity, but it was a tough decision. McDonald has been the head coach at Woodland for the past two seasons.

“I enjoyed every minute of it. The Woodland community was great to me. Never a great time to leave a program. I learned that at Kalama,” McDonald said. “I cherished every minute of it. I built a lot of great relationships with coaches, family, and kids. I cherished every minute I was there. I hope they find somebody to replace me who does a better job than I did.”

Woodland had won four games total in the two previous full seasons before McDonald arrived. The Beavers went 4-6 in 2022 and made the playoffs. Then in 2023, the Beavers stunned the 2A GSHL, going 6-1 to claim the league title. Woodland went 8-3 overall, including a win in the Week 10 district playoff to clinch a spot in the state tournament.

He has won every place he has coached, and he said he has every intention of continuing with that trend. While Mountain View won the league title in 2023, the program did lose quite a bit in terms of participation numbers during the transition from Mathieson to Hart.

McDonald said he has a plan.

“I think I’m up to the task,” he said, noting he intends to recruit the hallways and get athletes to be excited about football. “That’s a huge part of it, building a relationship with those kids.”

That is his top priority going into the next campaign, to get Mountain View players to love football again.

It helps, he said, to have a state-of-the-art weight room. McDonald said he is impressed with everything in Mountain View’s new building, including the athletic facilities. During the day, McDonald will be working in the school’s special education department. 

On the field, McDonald said he will never concede.

“The goal is always to win the first game and go from there and win a league championship,” McDonald said. “I would never set my sights below a league championship. I just want to get in the door and give these kids something to connect with. That’s what I’m all about.”

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