Reichert retires as EHS teacher

Lee Reichert won’t be roaming the hallways at Enumclaw High this year, but he is planning to return to his familiar spot in the wrestling room.

Days before school started Monday, the 34-year teaching veteran retired from the Washington state school system. He was immediately picked up by the Muckleshoot Tribal School, where he will teach physical education.

According to EHS Athletic Director Kevin Smith, as part of the retire-rehire process, Reichert must sit out 45 days before he can reapply for a school district position, including coaching.

“Private schools and tribal schools don’t fall under that rule,” Smith said.

“Things just happened to hit just right,” Reichert said. “You have to do what’s best for you and your family.”

Reichert said the opportunity to retire presented itself in combination with the job at the Muckleshoot Tribal School and he couldn’t pass it up.

It’s no secret Reichert has considered retiring for the past few years, but the mat kept calling.

“When it quits being fun then I’ll walk away from it, but it’s still fun,” he said.

He plans to apply for his former coaching job.

“I do plan to return,” Reichert said. “Unless someone comes along who has better credentials than I do. It should happen, but nothing’s for sure.”

It’s hard to top Reichert’s credentials. He’s one of the top coaches in the state.

Since taking over the Hornet helm 15 years ago, Reichert and his teams won back-to-back state titles in 2008 and 2009 and came points away from making three straight in February. He also has three state team titles with Kentwood, where he spent nearly a decade leading the Conquerors and teaching elementary P.E.

Also during his EHS tenure, he has guided 16 individual state champion wrestlers to titles and has mentored 98 state placers. Hornet teams have won 17 subregional and nine regional titles.

In addition to numerous league and regional coach of the year honors, Reichert was the state Coach of the Year in 2007. This season, he will be honored by the Washington State Wrestling Coaches Association for his accomplishments.

Reichert earned his physical education degree from Central Washington University, where he was also a four-year letterman. He earned his master’s degree in education from City University.

Smith said the district will post the open coaching position in the coming weeks and go through a thorough process to hire the best candidate for the job. Like EHS’s recent basketball coaching position, the district will not be able to offer a teaching job with the position, Smith said.

Turnout for winter sports begins Nov. 15.

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