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News / Sports / Prep Sports

Glen Flanagan named Woodland High head football coach

Town roots is why longtime girls basketball coach threw his hat into the ring

By Meg Wochnick, Columbian staff writer
Published: May 3, 2024, 7:29pm

After 26 seasons and counting as Woodland’s girls basketball coach, Glen Flanagan isn’t thinking about hanging up his whistle yet. Instead, he’s adding on more head-coaching duties.

Flanagan is now a head coach of two major sports at Woodland. On Friday, the school named him the Beavers’ new football head coach.

Already the dean of girls basketball coaches in Southwest Washington, Flanagan, the longtime defensive coordinator in football who has worked under six head coaches, will be a first-time head football coach at the school he graduated from in 1989. He’s been on the football coaching staff since 1995.

Flanagan is in rare company as a dual-sport head coach of football and basketball at the Class 2A level.

When it came time to replace Sean McDonald, who led Woodland the past two seasons, Flanagan said he did what he’s done in previous head-coach vacancies: evaluated locally who would make a good fit to throw their name into the application process.

He realized a lot of arrows this time pointed at him to continue to build on what the Beavers accomplished last fall: winning the program’s first league title since 2007 and reaching the 2A state playoffs.

Flanagan said he’s excited about not only a strong senior class returning for 2024, but a number of up-and-coming younger classes coming up the next few years at Woodland.

That’s why hiring a coach with strong Woodland roots was important to Flanagan.

“It was a no-brainer, once I gave it some thought,” he said.

“I am Woodland, and I know Woodland … When I came back to my hometown, it gave me more connections. I teach there. I’m involved in three sports, so I’ve seen parents and youth everywhere. I think the connections I have with the people I’ve built relationships with is the key.”

What’s the biggest challenge he sees juggling the football and girls basketball programs as the head coach of both, especially in consecutive fall and winter seasons with possible overlaps?

For starters, he said the good foundations already in place — longtime assistants and youth coaches in both programs — has Flanagan feeling confident about jumping into new territory.

In fact, even before he was offered the football job, the coach said he spent several early-morning hours mapping out who best fit where to make both programs thrive.

“I think the key is to make sure those things are taken care of,” Flanagan said, “and then you don’t have to drive yourself crazy last minute.

“You just find people that are better than you at everything they do.”

Flanagan said he’ll bring on an offensive coordinator. Another change is he’ll relocate to teach physical education at Woodland High School. He currently teaches PE at Woodland Middle School.