Heritage High School stayed within the Evergreen Public Schools system to hire its new football coach.
Jack Hathaway, a 2000 graduate of Mountain View who has been an assistant coach for the past three seasons at Evergreen, has accepted the head coaching position with the Timberwolves.
“I think great things can happen there. I really believe that,” Hathaway said. “The school is a perfect opportunity for me. There is an opportunity to win there and be there for a long time. I think it’s my dream job, a great situation.”
Leta Meyer, Heritage’s athletic coordinator, said the school is thrilled to have Hathaway as the new face of the program.
“What impressed me is his knowledge of the game and the way he goes about teaching the kids,” Meyer said. “It’s not all about football. He’s a great role model for kids. He’s just a really great person, a humble guy. It’s all about the kids for him.”
And it is all about Clark County.
Hathaway grew up in Vancouver.
After his days with the Thunder, he played college football at Huron University in South Dakota for two years before transferring to Eastern Oregon University, where he also played baseball.
After graduation, he joined former Mountain View coach Mike Woodward’s staff at Hudson’s Bay.
Hathaway then became Woodward’s defensive coordinator for a season at Westview High School in Poway, Calif., before deciding to move back to Vancouver.
For the past three seasons, he has been an assistant at Evergreen.
“Leta said, ‘You must want to stick around here if you moved from San Diego,’ ” he said with a laugh. “This is home. It’s where I want to be.”
Hathaway, 29, has been an offensive coordinator, a defensive coordinator, and a special teams coach.
He said he will lean toward working mostly with the offense as Heritage’s head coach, but he also said his experience in all three phases of the game will benefit the Timberwolves.
“I’m constantly striving to learn bits and pieces and observe,” Hathaway said.
As far as Heritage’s new offense, Hathaway said it would be unfair to use labels.
“We’re not the Wing-T, and we’re not the spread (offense),” he said. “Whether we have receivers out there or maybe we’re loaded on the offensive line and running backs, we’re going to move the football down the field. We’re going to do different stuff and take advantage of our strengths.”
Hathaway takes over for Nate Becksted, who was the coach at Heritage for five years.
Becksted resigned after the 2010 season and subsequently landed the head coaching job at North Medford in Oregon.
Heritage has reached the state qualifying round playoff game the past four seasons.