McGarvie named Union football coach

Assistant coach steps in for Piland, who is resigning

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

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Gary McGarvie, who has been an assistant football coach working for Cale Piland since 2005, will take over for Piland as the head coach of the Union Titans.

“It’s a great challenge,” McGarvie said. “Coaching at Union is an unbelievable opportunity because of the kids and the parents we have here. We have great families here.”

Cale Piland, Union’s athletic director for another month or so, made the announcement Monday.

“Gary is a high-quality coach. I’ve been able to work with him the last nine years. I know first-hand what he’s all about,” Piland said. “He has a passion about kids, football, and Union High School.”

McGarvie, a former head coach at Fort Vancouver, joined Piland’s staff at Evergreen in 2005. Piland left Evergreen to start the then-new program at Union in 2007, and McGarvie was one of many assistants who joined Piland at the new school.

“It means a lot to him,” Piland said of being part of the start of this program. “I have all the confidence in the world he’s going to be able to build on what we already started.”

That’s the plan, according to McGarvie, who was the head coach at Fort Vancouver from 2001 to 2004.

“You don’t get too many opportunities to be at a school like this and then be a head coach at a school like this,” McGarvie said. “Personally, I wanted to see the program stay on course.”

McGarvie led the Trappers to playoff berths in 2003 and 2004. Those were the last Trapper football teams to make the postseason.

Union has never had a losing season and has made the playoffs in each of the past six seasons.

Piland announced he was resigning as Union’s head coach and athletic director in order to take a new job within Evergreen Public Schools. He will be in charge of athletics and activities for all Evergreen schools beginning next school year.

The district anticipates that a final decision on the hiring of Union’s athletic director will happen later this month.