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Idaho running backs coach leaves

Jeremy Thielbahr, Idaho's running backs and co-special teams coach, has left to take the head coach and assistant athletic director position at Eastside Catholic High in Sammamish, Wash. Thiehlbahr is the second UI coach to leave during the offseason, following offensive line coach Dan Finn. Thielbahr was a full-fledged member of the Vandals' coaching staff for three years.

Read on for more.

Here's the press release from EC High:

Sammamish, Wash., May 26, 2011 - Eastside Catholic announced today that Jeremy Thielbahr is joining Eastside Catholic as head football coach and assistant athletic director, effective June 1.

For the last four years, Thielbahr has been at Division I University of Idaho, most recently as assistant coach for running backs and special teams coordinator. Prior to this assignment, Thielbahr coached both offense and defense at Montana State University, as well as being assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator.

Thielbahr was on PAC-10 championship-winning teams as both a student-athlete and assistant coach at Washington State University with the 2001 Rose Bowl, 2001 Sun Bowl and 2003 Holiday Bowl. At Montana State in 2005, he helped the team win the Big Sky championship.

“We're thrilled to bring Coach Thielbahr into the Eastside Catholic family where he will continue to build on the great legacy and success of Eastside Catholic football,” said athletic director Scott Garvis. “Coach Thielbahr's career makes him a great fit in building championship programs at Eastside Catholic. His character, integrity and core values will provide exemplary leadership for our football team and Eastside Catholic, aligned with our mission touchstones of servant leadership and community. In Jeremy, we have brought on one of the outstanding young coaches in the country, and one who has a proven record of achievement on and off the field. Sr. Mary (E. Tracy, head of school) and I couldn't be more excited.”

“High school football coaching is what every coach wants to do,” Thielbahr said. “I've been looking for the right opportunity and recruited all over the country. EC's leadership in coach Garvis and Sr. Mary, with their vision for the school overall, was the ultimate reason for my decision.” When asked about his plans for directing the EC football team, he said, “It'll be a cross between the best high school programs in the country and the best college programs, steering the young men into championships while coaching them as individual people pursuing a common goal.”

Previous head football coach and associate athletic director Jason Gesser has been awarded an offensive graduate assistant position at WSU. In this role he will assist with football coaching operations while pursuing a master's degree. 

Gesser stated, “Eastside Catholic has truly been amazing to me and my family. This is a special place to be a part of and I have a ton of mixed emotions as I walk away. However, the opportunity for me to get back to Washington State is a dream come true. This was an extremely hard decision to make due to all the hard work and growth that our Eastside Catholic football program has made in my two-year tenure as head coach. One of the biggest factors in making the decision was knowing that Jeremy Thielbahr would be taking my place. We were teammates at WSU. I know coach Thielbahr will raise the state championship trophy more than once in his time at EC. He is a perfect fit because he is a very passionate person and cares tremendously about the kids and the family we call Eastside Catholic.”

Thielbahr graduated in 2001 from Washington State University with a double major in social studies and history, and a minor in sociology. He also has a M.A. in teaching. Thiehlbar's wife of two years, Meredith, is an attorney at Oles Morrison Rinker Baker, LLP in Seattle.

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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