February 24, 2009 in Sports

U-Hi tabs Diedrick as football coach

Spokane native returning home
By The Spokesman-Review
The Spokesman-Review photo

(Full-size photo)

You’d have to go some to top the credentials of University High School’s new football coach.

Bill Diedrick returns to high school coaching after a long career as a coordinator and assistant coach at several high profile colleges and in the professional Canadian Football League, where he was part of a Grey Cup championship team. His hiring was approved Monday night by the Central Valley School District board of directors.

“I know my mom’s probably dying for me to get back to Spokane,” said Diedrick in a telephone interview while visiting in Idaho. “You know how mothers are.”

The Spokane native, a North Central High School graduate, spent 11 years teaching in the Spokane Public School district, five of those years, from 1976-80, as head coach at Rogers.

Then it was off on a near-30-year coaching journey that included stops at Whitworth, Montana State (where the Bobcats won a national I-AA championship), Idaho, Washington State University, the Edmonton Eskimos, University of Washington, Stanford and Notre Dame.

He returned to the CFL with Calgary and Toronto, and last year helped at Indiana State. As an offensive coordinator and position coach he said he’s been involved in a number of different offensive styles. He has coached 12 quarterbacks who have reached the NFL.

Why, then, return to high school, where he will teach and coach?

“It’s a great opportunity to get back to an area that gave you an opportunity to start,” Diedrick said. “There’s probably not too many things I haven’t accomplished that I’ve set out to do.”

His coaching mentor in college, Dave Holmes, coached U-Hi between 1974 and 1984. He said he will return to Spokane within two weeks to meet with and evaluate the players and put together a coaching staff.

“I’m ready to head back home,” said Diedrick. “This was and is appealing to me.”

Diedrick replaces Mike Ganey, who resigned after 16 years as the head coach at University.

North Central and Lewis and Clark have head football coaching jobs that remain open in the Greater Spokane League. Tom Yearout retired as the LC coach last week and Grady Emmerson resigned at North Central after last season.

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