Former Lewis and Clark head football coach Tom Yearout wants to be a head coach again some day.
That day, though, won’t be any time soon – at least not next fall and not, as rumored, at his alma mater, Shadle Park.
And it might surprise some that if Yearout seeks a head coaching job, it won’t necessarily be football. It could be basketball.
“That was always my goal when I started coaching,” Yearout said.
When Mark Hester resigned in November as head football coach at Shadle, the ink hadn’t dried on his farewell letter before many had Yearout returning to his roots.
Here it is early April and Shadle Park principal Herb Rotchford still hasn’t filled the vacancy. Whether Rotchford can open up the position for applications outside the district is up in the air now. If the district ends up having to lay off teachers because of budget cuts, he will have to find a coach within the district. (Rotchford said there are two coaches in the district, one with previous head coaching experience at a smaller school, who have applied for the job.)
Yearout did not apply for the job, but he had a couple of conversations with Rotchford. After some deliberation, Yearout told Rotchford he wouldn’t pursue the position.
“I’m really happy at LC,” said Yearout, who was an assistant for first-year head football coach Dave Hughes last fall. “I like my circumstances better at LC.”
Still, Rotchford, who was Yearout’s ninth-grade football coach, tried to convince Yearout, a 1984 Highlanders grad, to pursue the Shadle position.
“He was in the process of applying,” Rotchford said, describing Yearout’s initial interest in the Shadle job. “If selected, he would have been a tremendously popular choice in our community. His roots are very deep at Shadle. I absolutely respect his decision. He lost a lot of sleep over the decision.”
So where did Yearout’s interest stall? He wouldn’t say on the record. Neither would Rotchford.
“That’s between Tom and myself,” Rotchford said. “I think originally he was very excited about the prospect of coming to Shadle.”
Rotchford understands the frustration some feel that the hiring process has dragged on and on. An assistant at State 4A champ Skyline has inquired along with a 5A head coach in the Boise area, Rotchford said.
“This is an attractive job,” Rotchford said. “The pool of candidates will expand enormously if we can open it up outside. I’m hopeful that we can open it up. But I’m not in any way certain that that’s going to be a possibility.”
Rotchford pointed out that when Jim Sharkey was hired at Ferris, it wasn’t finalized until late April.
“I know people are getting antsy,” Rotchford said. “We want to get this done, one way or another, by mid-May.”
The Central Valley and University baseball teams were picked to finish 1-2. Weather permitting, they are scheduled to play a single game today at CV and turn around on Friday and meet at U-Hi. Both games begin at 4.
•In a big 5A Inland Empire League doubleheader Saturday, league favorite Lewiston is at Coeur d’Alene beginning at 11 a.m.
•In softball, University and Mead, which were picked to finish 1-2, face off for the first time Tuesday at Mead. The game begins at 4.