Hudson's Bay hires football co-head coaches

Meyer, Skinner will share responsibilities

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

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Hudson’s Bay has called an interesting audible in its search for a new football coach.

The Eagles are going with two coaches: Andy Meyer and Rick Skinner.

“I’m sure there will be a few people scratching their heads on that one,” Meyer acknowledged.

He and Skinner, though, believe it will be the right combination.

“It’s about being positive with the kids and building relationships with the kids,” Skinner said. “I feel strongly about that, and I saw him do a great job with the kids when he had the basketball program.”

Meyer is a former assistant football coach at Bay and former head basketball coach at the school. Skinner, also a former football assistant at Bay, had been the head baseball coach at Hockinson and, most recently, the head baseball coach at Centralia College.

The two have known each other for years, coaching football together on Bay’s staff in the mid 2000s.

They both jumped at the opportunity to be named co-head coaches when Bay athletic director Stoney Myers proposed the unusual idea.

“Any head coaching job is a ton of work. Football, especially, is a big job,” Meyer said. “It’s the number of athletes you’re working with, and a variety of other things.

“The idea of sharing that workload was very appealing to me.”

Skinner agreed, calling it a “no-brainer” to co-coach with his friend.

“Coaching is coaching. You’ve got to build a relationship with the players,” Skinner said. “We both know the game. We’re going to be able to do some good things.”

Skinner resigned as the head baseball coach at Centralia College in order to take the football job. He is a teacher at Bay.

Meyer’s head coaching experience comes from basketball, where he led the Eagles to back-to-back district titles. He resigned after the 2011-12 school year to become the athletic and activities director at Alki Middle School.

Meyer said he expects to have a job on campus at Hudson’s Bay next school year.

“The big reason for me is I saw an opportunity to get back and help,” Meyer said. “I hope to have a positive impact.

“The goal is to come in and create a program that the players, school and community are proud of and the kids want to be a part of. It’s really about building a program that people want to be a part of. When we do that, the wins and losses will take care of themselves.”

The game, while challenging, must remain fun to attract talent.

“It’s all about the kids having a great time playing football again,” said Skinner, who started the baseball program at Hockinson when that school opened.

The two co-coaches and AD met to go over the plan.

“We sat down and outlined expectations, roles and responsibilities,” Meyer said. “We did that with Stoney Myers present. We were all on the same page.”

Meyer said they aren’t ready to discuss specific coaching roles.

Hudson’s Bay football has been struggling on the scoreboard, with two wins in the past three seasons. The 2014 season will be see a major transition of sorts, as the Eagles move from Class 3A to play in the 2A Greater St. Helens League.

Things will be different on the sideline, too: With two head coaches.