A longtime fixture in the Enumclaw High sports scene will be departing with the end of the school year, along with two varsity coaches in the Hornet program.
Tim Tubbs, who has been at EHS 37 years and spent the past nine as athletic director, will be moving on, a victim of his “retire/rehire” status and a tightened school district budget. Ted Carlson, veteran girls’ basketball coach, has resigned his position and track coach Jenelle Stussy has lost her position as Enumclaw High, also due to budget cuts.
It didn’t take Tubbs long to find another position. He has been hired as the first athletic director at the new Muckleshoot Tribal School, just a few miles down state Route 164.
Tubbs, a longtime coach before taking over as athletic director at EHS, admits his new role presents some daunting challenges. The school will open in the fall and is expected to field athletic teams, but there are some interesting unknowns still to be ironed out: there’s no school mascot and no school colors; no coaches have been hired; it’s uncertain what league the school will compete in; and, last but certainly not least, no one is exactly sure how many students will walk through the doors.
“They want an athletic program, they want to invest in their kids,” Tubbs said. His immediate challenge is “to create a model that satisfies the school board, the campus and the community.”
Tubbs isn’t on the Muckleshoot payroll yet, but is investing some unpaid hours in charting a course of action. He noted there are examples to learn from, “schools that have the heritage or the size, or, in some cases, both.”
The Muckleshoot Tribal School is expected to start small, Tubbs said, with perhaps 200 students sharing a K-12 building.
Tubbs expresses no bitterness over the Enumclaw School District’s decision to eliminate his position.
“I fully understand the position they’re in,” he said. “It’s been a great place to work.”
The district has indicated Tubbs’ duties will be absorbed by the current Enumclaw High administrative team.
Carlson admitted it isn’t easy stepping away from the Hornet girls’ hoop program, but simply said, “it’s time for me to move on.”
Carlson has plenty of coaching experience under his belt, having spent five seasons at Federal Way High before switching to EHS. He has been at Enumclaw for 11 years and coached the girls’ program for 10. Midway through that span he took a break and spent a year away from the team.
“I’ve had a lot of great years of coaching girls’ basketball, but it’s time to do some different things,” Carlson said.
Carlson noted that basketball has become a year-round commitment for those building successful programs. “It takes a lot of time in the offseason,” he said, “and I just can’t give as much to the program as I’d like to.”
He admits the decision was difficult.
“It’s been a lot of fun, working with the kids,” he said. “I’ll miss the ones now in the program.
“I just hope that everybody understands.”
Tubbs, still on board as Enumclaw’s athletic director through the end of the year, said finding a replacement might be difficult.
“The preference is to get someone with teaching credentials and coaching experience,” he said, while noting that no teaching positions are becoming available in the school.
Tubbs said he would like to have a couple of quality applicants lines up by June 19, his final day on the job.
Stussy, a relative newcomer with just a few years of teaching and coaching experience at Enumclaw High, saw her teaching job disappear with the financial cutbacks made at the district level.
“We have the highest regard for Jenelle and the job she’s done,” Tubbs said, admitting her departure leaves the athletic department in an “awkward” position.
Because Stussy’s teaching position is gong away, so are her athletic duties, Tubbs said. The coaching vacancy will be posted and, in theory, Stussy could apply for the job, either as a non-teacher or as a teacher in another district.
Assistant track and field coach Mike Sando will be gone as well, having submitted his resignation to the school board.
Kevin Hanson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-802-8205.