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Union’s Rosenbach resigns as football coach, accepts AD job at 4A Glacier Peak

Coach led Titans to 4A title in 2018, went 47-22 in 7 seasons

By Meg Wochnick, Columbian staff writer
Published: July 11, 2023, 12:30pm

Rory Rosenbach is heading home. 

That’s how now-former Union High’s football coach described it Tuesday, confirming his resignation as head football coach and teacher to accept the athletic director job at Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish County. 

Glacier Peak, located in Snohomish, is a Class 4A school and member of the Wesco League. It’s the same school Rosenbach was the head football coach at from 2008-2015 before arriving in Vancouver.  

He called the decision to leave Union difficult, but the right one for him and his family. 

“We’ve grown so fond of it down here,” Rosenbach said Tuesday, “and had a great group of guys that I worked with. And the kids are super hard working. It’s been a really good time that’s made it really hard to leave. 

“I’m grateful for all the people I’ve met, the friendships I’ve made and I hope it continues.”

Rosenbach informed players of his departure Monday. He said Tuesday that Union principal Griffin Peyton and assistant principal and athletic director LaMont Woods are working to determine the football program’s next steps in leadership.

EPS athletic director Cale Piland said things are moving swiftly exploring options for a successor — even if it’s on an interim basis for the 2023 season. Fall practices for football start Aug. 16. 

“Obviously, the timing is less than ideal, so that limits what we’re able to do,” Piland said. “But we hope to have something finalized by the end of the week.”

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For Rosenbach, 47, returning to Glacier Peak and the city of Snohomish is a homecoming. 

The 1994 Snohomish High graduate was Glacier Peak’s first football coach when the school opened in 2008 as a Class 3A school. He coached the Grizzlies for eight seasons before coming to Union as athletic director and head football coach in 2016. 

Under Rosenbach, Union went 47-22 in seven seasons, including an undefeated 4A state championship year in 2018 for the school’s first title in football. For Rosenbach, it was his third title as a head coach; he led Marist Catholic (Eugene, Ore.) to Oregon 4A state titles in 2005 and 2007.

As for the success of Union’s program in his tenure? He points to his assistant coaches, players and school administration. 

“I feel like we had a really good group of people, and I just got to stand there and watch it go down,” Rosenbach said. “It was a lot of fun. … We had some really exceptional groups of kids and collective groups of leadership and all the things you need to be successful.”

He said he plans to hang up his coaching whistle for good now that he’s back in administration. Rosenbach taught physical education at Union this past school year after stepping down as AD following the 2021-22 school year, yet felt the timing was right to return to administration in his hometown. 

“I learned that I really enjoyed the organized chaos of the athletic director world,” he said. “I like having to be on my toes and being able to switch gears and be creative.”

MATHIESON GOES TO CAMAS

Former Mountain View athletic director and football coach Adam Mathieson went east to find his new home this fall: Camas. 

Mathieson confirmed to The Columbian he’ll split duties at Camas High as a counselor and athletic coordinator. He also confirmed he’ll join coach Jack Hathaway’s football coaching staff. 

“I will assist in whatever capacity he deems appropriate,” Mathieson said. 

Mathieson resigned as Mountain View’s football coach in April after 15 seasons. It came more than a month after EPS announced the elimination of high school athletic director positions to help address a $19.1 million budget deficit for the 2023-24 school year. Mathieson had been Mountain View’s AD since 2007.

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