Sports

Enumclaw starts search for boys basketball coach

The Enumclaw High boys basketball team is looking for a leader.

Phil Engebretsen, who led the Hornets to their best finish in school history, a second-place showing at the Class 3A state tournament in March, has resigned to spend more time with his family.

Engebretsen said his decision comes after several weeks of thought and reflection.

“I would first like to make it clear that my resignation is not a reflection on Enumclaw High School or the Enumclaw community,” the two-time South Puget Sound League 3A Coach of the Year wrote in his resignation letter. “In fact, I truly believe that coaching at Enumclaw is without a doubt the best basketball job in the state of Washington. We have a supportive administration, a great support staff, terrific student athletes, and an awesome community that supports the teams during times of success and during times of adversity.

“The sole reason for my decision is to spend more time with my own immediate family,” Engebretsen continued. “After 17 years of coaching, seven of which have been in Enumclaw, I have made one of the hardest decisions in my life. It is extremely difficult saying goodbye to so many wonderful young men currently in our program, but I finally decided that I would rather regret not coaching basketball, than to regret some day not spending more time with my own kids. The latter of which would haunt me for a lifetime.”

Engebretsen went on to write he and his family will continue to be Hornet fans and thanked the community for its support, passion and encouragement.

Engebretsen said he will continue to serve as an assistant golf coach and EHS teacher.

“Having Phil around in any capacity is a win for Enumclaw High School,” EHS Athletic Director Kevin Smith said.

Smith said administrators have not had enough time to process the resignation, but they expect to post the opening soon. The district’s current budget status will probably not allow the district to offer a teaching position with the coaching job, Smith said, an issue facing schools across the state.

“The challenge across the state right now is we don’t have the capacity of hiring a teacher,” Smith said, but he added, a head coaching job at a premier high school program is likely to draw a number of quality candidates.

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