“You celebrate little successes. You don’t wait for a win. You try to pick little things that you can measure and say, ‘Here’s where we are. Here’s where we were. Here’s where we want to go.’ I think that’s really important.
“That’s what you share. And when you share, really share, emotions with kids that sharing never goes away. That’s what you do in coaching. You create lifelong memories.”
–Terry Ennis to The Seattle Times’ Steve Kelley, August
Terry Ennis had already been named The Seattle Times’ “Coach of the Century” before he went to Archbishop Murphy and pulled off one of the area’s greatest coaching coups. He already had 36 years of coaching, already had a state title at Cascade of Everett, already had one of Washington football’s greatest careers.
But then, in 2000, he went to Murphy, a new Catholic school near Mill Creek, and started a new football program. It started no weight room, no locker room and just 25 guys — 11 freshmen — who had almost no football experience.
“You’re going to look first class and play first class,” Ennis told that group, according to a Times report in 2004. “You’re the only ones that will ever get that chance to be first. In this lifetime, you’ll never regret trying something. What I’m saying is, give it a try.”
When those 11 freshmen graduated, they had won two state titles, won 31 of 35 games and placed Archbishop Murphy among the best small-school programs in the state.
For Terry Ennis, who died early this morning at age 63, nothing was impossible. He coached for four years while battling prostate cancer. Fall just won’t be the same without one of the best football minds out there. Yet when you read that quote at the top, you understand that as much as Ennis cared about football, that’s not why he spent so many years coaching, why he couldn’t leave the game after he left Cascade, why those six-plus years at Archbishop Murphy must have been so special to him. What he shared with the thousand-plus players who went through his programs clearly mattered more.
And, no doubt, all of those years must have been special to the players who called him “Coach.” They surely know more about what made Ennis the man he was. If you would like to share your stories about Ennis, about how much he meant to you, feel free to do so below.
1. Ashley Tombelaine, Snohomish, girls soccer. Hat trick drives 4-0 win against Arlington.
2. John Olin, Redmond, boys golf. Shot a two-under 34 at Jackson Golf course in win against Ballard.
3. Kate Deines, Issaquah, girls soccer. Hat trick in 5-0 win against Mercer Island gives her five goals in two matches.