Wa-Hi hires Matt Hamlin as new football coach

Matt Hamlin is a 1999 Wa-Hi grad, and most recently was an assistant at Skyview High.

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WALLA WALLA - Wa-Hi grad and three-sport athlete Matt Hamlin has returned as Blue Devils head football coach.

Hamlin was hired Tuesday night, replacing Marc Yonts.

Hamlin graduated from Wa-Hi in 1999, and earned all-state honors in football as a wide receiver his senior year, a release from Walla Walla Public Schools said. He was also the point guard on the 1999 Blue Devil basketball team that won the Class 4A state championship and was a member of the Wa-Hi baseball team.

"This is my dream job," Hamlin said in the release. "I love coaching football and am excited to come home."

Hamlin will also teach math at Wa-Hi.

After graduating from Wa-Hi, Hamlin enrolled at Eastern Oregon University where he was a three-year starter on the football team and earned his Bachelor of Science degree. He was selected as team captain his junior and senior years at EOU and was voted the offensive player of the year by his teammates his senior year, the release said.

He then earned a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Concordia University in Portland.

In 2004, he taught and coached football at La Salle High School in Oregon.

From 2005-10, he has been an assistant football coach at Skyview High in Vancouver, Wash. Hamlin is also a math and physical education teacher at Skyview.

"Matt has tremendous energy and will do the things needed to continue the proud history of Blue Devil football," district athletic director Don Wilkins said in the release. "He has learned from some outstanding coaches in his playing and coaching career and will use these experiences to make decisions as he leads our program."

Wilkins said Hamlin will relate well with the student-athletes and bring a contagious enthusiasm, which should produce great things on the field.

"I feel fortunate to get a young coach with Matt's background and enthusiasm to lead our program." Wilkins said. "Players will have fun and enjoy their time as Blue Devil football players."

Wilkins said despite the late hiring, Hamlin and his coaches are preparing the spring practice schedule, summer team camp and the 2010 season information for release to players and families later this week.

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