Walla Walla High School names assistant football coach to interim role

Mike Gobel will be the Blue Devils' head coach next season after Matt Hamlin withdrew from the position.

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WALLA WALLA -- Longtime Blue Devil assistant football coach Mike Gobel will be Walla Walla High School's interim head coach next season after Matt Hamlin withdrew from the position Thursday.

"The program is in good hands," Wa-Hi athletic director Don Wilkins said Friday morning, of Gobel taking over. "I think we're fortunate to have someone on staff to take over. I think he'll do a fine job."

Gobel was offensive coordinator on the Blue Devil staff last season.

Hamlin was announced as the new coach May 4. He graduated from Wa-Hi in 1999, and played football, basketball and baseball for the Blue Devils.

He most recently has been an assistant coach at Skyview High in Vancouver, Wash., where he is also a math and physical education teacher.

Wilkins said Hamlin's decision was based on family reasons.

"I'm disappointed Matt isn't here," Wilkins said, "but I understand the decision he had to make."

"Mike Gobel is an outstanding leader and will do a great job coaching our football team," Wa-Hi Principal Darcy Weisner said in a release this morning. "We will offer our full support to Gobel and the rest of our coaching staff as we move our football program forward."

Wilkins said spring practices and team camps will remain as scheduled. For more on the schedule, go to tinyurl.com/2azobqd

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