Skyview hires Gruhler away from Hockinson to coach basketball

Coach led Hawks to 2A GSHL title in 2011

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

Published:

 

Matt Gruhler really enjoyed his time at Hockinson.

"I love the people there. The administration, the kids, the parents. It was a great job," he said.

But another job offered up other benefits, and Gruhler decided he could not pass up on the opportunity.

Gruhler, who coached the Hockinson boys basketball team to the state Class 2A round of 16 this winter, has been hired to coach at Skyview.

"It came down to it was a great move for my family," Gruhler said. "I live five minutes away from Skyview, it's the school my kids will go to, and it's a better opportunity for me to get a full-time job in the building."

A counselor, Gruhler said he hopes to have a job on campus in the near future.

He also sees potential at Skyview. He wants the boys basketball team have the same success as the football and baseball programs have at the school.

Jim Condon, Skyview's athletic director, believes Gruhler is the man who can turn the Storm into perennial winners on the basketball court.

"We are excited to have Matt head up the boys basketball program at Skyview," Condon said. "He has shown over the past three years at Hockinson that he is capable of leading a program to great success. He has quickly established himself as a well-respected member of the local coaching community, and we feel fortunate to have him as part of the coaching staff."

Gruhler compiled a record of 36-33 in his three seasons at Hockinson, including a 20-8 mark in league play. The Hawks won a league title in 2011.

This past winter, the Hawks reached the regional round of 16, falling three points short of going to the state tournament. His team survived three consecutive elimination games in the district tournament to make it to regionals.

The most difficult part of taking the new job, Gruhler said, was saying goodbye to the players at Hockinson.

"I've got a good group coming back," Gruhler said, forgetting for a second that it's not 'I' anymore, but 'Hockinson.' "Eight juniors this year, a really strong crew. It was a tough meeting, but I think they understood and supported me. I support them as well. I loved the job and loved them."

Gruhler did meet briefly with Skyview basketball players, as well.

"We're already starting to plan for the summer," Gruhler said.

Gruhler takes over for Adam Horn, who coached the Storm the past two seasons.