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Friday, September 22, 2023
Sept. 22, 2023

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Kim Ulman hired as new Ridgefield football head coach

Coach spent past 10 seasons as Mark Morris' offensive coordinator

By , Columbian High School Sports Reporter

Kim Ulman is about to be a head coach in high school football for the fist time.

There will be new challenges and responsibilities, things every new coach experiences, but he said he is ready.

“As much as you can, I think I know what I’m getting into,” Ulman said.

The offensive coordinator at Mark Morris High School for the past decade, Ulman will be officially hired as Ridgefield’s head coach at the school board meeting next week, Ridgefield athletic director Debbie Bentler announced Wednesday.

An assistant with the Monarchs for the past 17 years, Ulman said he was fortunate that coach Shawn Perkins allowed him to take on a number of responsibilities.

“That’s helped me in understanding the time it takes to be a head coach,” said Ulman, 42.

“It’s a personal challenge. There have been times I’ve thought about it. I’m ready for it professionally,” he said. “It’s now or never. I need to see if I can do it and be successful. As much of an imprint I’ve had on the Mark Morris program almost the last two decades, I want to see what it is with me at the head and see if I can do the same thing.”

“Coach Ulman’s extensive experience in the Greater St. Helens League will be an asset in his new role as our head football coach,” Bentler said. “He has a proven track record of success.”

Mark Morris made the postseason in six of the past 10 seasons, including a trip to the state semifinals in 2010.

Ulman is familiar with Ridgefield, with the two teams competing in the same league in eight of the past 10 seasons.

“What I admire about their kids is their toughness,” Ulman said. “They play hard, which is a great factor to have in your student body.”

He noted the new facilities at Ridgefield High School as proof of the community’s commitment. Plus he is excited to part of a one-high school town.

“That’s a huge positive when you’re trying to get a football program to the next level,” Ulman said.

Ridgefield has had a winning record in five of the past six seasons, including an 8-2 mark in 2015. The Spudders have not, however, won a postseason game since 2005.

Ulman takes over for Dan Andersen, who resigned after four seasons.

Ulman, a 1991 graduate of Kelso High School, has a Bachelor’s Degree from Washington State and a Master’s from Lesley University. He is a teacher at Mark Morris but wants to eventually teach at Ridgefield. It is important, he said, for a head coach to be on campus.

Mark Morris’ head coach said this hire is a good deal for Ridgefield.

“Ridgefield is getting an exceptional coach in Kim Ulman who is a great leader and dynamic football strategist,” Perkins said. “We will certainly miss him at Mark Morris as he has been an integral part of our success that we have had over the past decade.”

Leaving Mark Morris is the toughest part of this move, Ulman said.

“It’s been a great experience,” he said of coaching the Monarchs. “I’ll still be rooting for them, except for when they play us.”

Columbian High School Sports Reporter