White River football’s new head coach ready to roll

Wyatt Evenson is coming to Buckley from coaching at Park City High School in Utah.

Wyatt Evenson is packing bags and preparing for a return trip to the Evergreen State, where he’ll be taking the reins as head coach of the White River High football program.

The job offer was extended and accepted last week following a search process that included an eight-person selection committee.

Evenson takes over for Kenny Pirone, who was elevated from his role as defensive coordinator and spent four seasons with the top job. Guiding the program through COVID-altered seasons and, most recently, a year plagued with injuries, Pirone finished with a record of 6-16 in league play and 9-24 overall.

Evenson is a Washington state native who graduated in 2008 from Spokane’s Shadle Park High School. He first attended the University of Puget Sound before transferring to Eastern Washington University where he earned a bachelor’s degree. He later earned a master’s degree in sports science and education from Ohio University and, most recently, received the CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) designation.

Evenson comes to White River following four seasons as the offensive coordinator at Park City High School in Utah. Other football stops include the 2018 season as special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach at Mount Vernon High and the 2016 season as an offensive assistant at Bellingham High, both in Washington. From 2010 to 2013 he served his alma mater, Shadle Park, as the Highlanders’ special teams coach and co-offensive coordinator.

Outside the football months, Evenson has fashioned a career in the outdoor industry. His resume includes stops at The North Face and the American Alpine Institute, where he guided expeditions in Alaska’s Denali National Park. Recently, he served as a program manager and fitness coach for Uphill Athlete.

With his attention now focused on White River, he said followers of the Hornet football program will see an offense built around the specific talents of his players. While gaining coaching experience in pass-happy systems like the renowned Air Raid, he also has learned offensive lessons in soggy Mount Vernon and chilly Park City – namely, that teams had better be prepared to run the ball effectively when the weather is far from perfect.

Evenson’s wife also is a Washington product, a graduate of South Kitsap High School. They always viewed Utah as a temporary stop, he said, intent on a return home. With packing already underway and their Park City house on the market, Evenson hopes to be a regular on the White River campus by late February.