WALLA WALLA - Wa-Hi's search for a new head football coach ended at Tuesday night's Walla Walla School Board meeting as Eric Hisaw was named to the position.
"I'm excited about the opportunities and challenges of this position as it has been a dream of mine for a long time," Hisaw said in a school district news release this morning. "I want the program to continue to be strong and have a positive feel for the community so they can be proud of the kids who are playing for them on Friday nights."
"I think it was a good hire," Wa-Hi athletic director Don Wilkins said.
Wilkins wasn't involved in the selection process, as Hisaw is Wilkins' son-in-law.
"I don't even know who applied," Wilkins said.
Hisaw was selected by a committee of eight, led by Wa-Hi principal Pete Peterson and assistant superintendent Laure Quaresma. There was also a four-student advisory committee, which provided input in the decision.
"Eric Hisaw has demonstrated his knowledge and motivational skills as a part of the Walla Walla High School football program, as head track coach, and most importantly as a successful teacher," Peterson said in the press release. "There is no doubt that he is ready for this challenge, and we are excited to have him in this new role.
"He's a great coach, a great young man and a great role model for kids. He's got a great football background, and will relate well with the kids, coaches and the community.
"I appreciate the district administration going ahead and getting it done in a timely fashion."
Hisaw has been a physical education teacher at Wa-Hi since 1997 and was a quarterback, linebacker and defensive back assistant coach with the Blue Devils from 1997 to 2006. He was a volunteer assistant last season.
He was offensive coordinator at East Valley High in Spokane while student teaching in 1996.
Hisaw was a two-year starting quarterback at the University of Idaho, where he was named Big Sky All-League QB in 1996. He also ran track for the Vandals and was Big Sky 55-meter hurdle champion in 1996.
Hisaw earned a degree in education at Idaho, as well as a master's degree from Eastern Washington University.
Hisaw will continue serving as head track and field coach at Wa-Hi.
"He's helped build that (Wa-Hi's track team) to be one of our most successful programs," Wilkins said. "I think he'll bring real enthusiasm and passion to the (football) program. He has an unbelievable amount of energy."
Hisaw steps in after Wa-Hi interim coach Mike Gobel directed the Blue Devils last season. Gobel decided in January not to continue in the head coach position, but will continue as an assistant.
Gobel filled the hole left last spring when newly appointed head coach Matt Hamlin pulled out of the position.
"I appreciate what Mike Gobel did," Wilkins said. "He stepped in and helped out when we were in a bind. And he'll continue to help Eric.
"I'm excited to see the direction we're headed."