Tom Ingles, one of the most successful high-school football coaches in state history and a member of the Washington State Football Hall of Fame, has resigned as head coach at Puyallup after six seasons.
He leaves with a career record of 248-103 and three state championships — two at Kentwood (2001 and 2002) and one at Liberty (1988).
Ingles said the school’s inability to find him an in-building teaching position is the primary factor in his decision. He is teaching at nearby Chief Leschi Schools this year after Puyallup’s double-levy failure last year forced major budget cuts. As a retire-rehire, Ingles was one of the first to lose his teaching position.
Puyallup had no in-building football coaches last season.
Ingles came to Puyallup after 14 seasons at Kentwood. He was a retire-rehire teacher his final two years at Kentwood, the maximum under the Kent School District’s policy.
Puyallup struggled this past season at 4-6, missing the playoffs for the second straight year.
I’ve worked with Ingles since his days at Liberty and consider him not only one of the best coaches around, but one of the classiest, too. I spoke with him this afternoon and will be writing a news story for both the newspaper edition (somewhat brief, due to space constrictions) and on-line.
Ingles said he plans to stay involved with football, possibly even as a coach somewhere, but is unsure of his future at this point. His wife, Zena, currently is a school administrator in California, so it’s possible he’ll find an opportunity there.
I’m betting he’ll find a place to put his many talents to good use, and that school (or organization) will be lucky to have him.