Emerald Ridge was looking to shake things up in its football program after finishing 0-10 last season.
But even administrators didn’t envision this: five co-head coaches.
That’s the route ER is taking after the fivesome sold themselves as a group. Troy Halfaday, Brian Anderson, Darren Erath, Adam Schakel and Torey Donovan have been jointly hired to run the program.
“Our football program had to be blown up,” athletic director Dell Dittus said. “We need a radical change. A lot was going on that wasn’t working.”
And these five coaches, who collectively have 23 years of coaching experience at the high-school level and 25 at the junior-high level, have administrators believing this will work.
“Hook and sinker, they’re committed to this,” Dittus said. “It’s outside the box. We’ll see how it goes.”
Dittus said he wants to make sure there is a “face” to the program and a designated liason, and Halfaday will serve in that capacity. He also will be special teams coach. Erath and Schakel will serve as co-offensive cooerdinators, while Anderson will be the defensive coordinator and Donovan will serve as the line coach and strength and conditioning coach.
Dittus said the five are good friends who teach in the Puyallup School District, most at Ballou Junior High. Three of them coached football at Ballou last fall, while the other two were assistants at Rogers.
The coaching vacancy was created when Vince Tarsi stepped down after three seasons, leaving with a 7-23 mark.