Monday, September 20, 2021
Sept. 20, 2021

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Battle Ground picks Mark Oliverio as head football coach

Former Hudson's Bay coach's return to Clark County paves road back into sport

By , Columbian sports reporter
Published:

Mark Oliverio has returned home.

The 52-year-old Oliverio, who headed Hudson’s Bay in 2015 and 2016, was recently named Battle Ground’s head football coach. The school board is expected to approve his hire on Monday.

In 2017, a promotion at Oliverio’s job required him to relocate to Cincinnati and leave an emerging Hudson’s Bay football program after just two years with the Eagles.

He always desired returning to coach the sport. With the rise of remote work amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Oliverio got the opportunity to return to where his family is located. He has a wife, two adult children and two grandkids.

Close friend Mike Kesler, who left Battle Ground earlier this year after four years with the team, let Oliverio know about the open position. It was a chance Oliverio couldn’t pass up.

“Seeing a couple of games last year, watching my nephew play (at Hockinson) and just being close to the game filled a big hole I had in me,” Oliverio said. “Ultimately, it was one of those things where it was clear I needed to lean forward and get back to what I love and am passionate about.”

Oliverio is a longtime youth football coach and was an assistant at Union from 2007 to 2013. In his final year at Bay in 2016, he led the Eagles to their first playoff appearance since 2002.

He knows Battle Ground, too, will face big challenges in a 4A Greater St. Helens League with state regulars Camas, Union and Skyview. The Tigers went 6-26 in four years under Kesler.

“If you measure success at the smallest level, you can continue to strive toward success,” Oliverio said. “When you stack those daily wins together, things add up pretty quick.”

Oliverio said he will retain some of Kesler’s coaching staff while trying to bring a balanced approach on offense and defense next year.

“I’m just excited for the opportunity to work with these kids,” he said.

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