Head coaching experience was the one thing Doug McGill couldn’t put on his resume.
That changed after the highly regarded Rogers High junior varsity coach was hired to lead the football program at Deer Park.
“I’ve always wanted to be a head coach,” said McGill. “It is something I’ve wanted to do ever since I was a kid.”
Rogers coach Dave Pomante said he will be losing more than a good coach. He will be losing a friend. Deer Park athletic director Mike Blair said they have hired someone who can rejuvenate and return excitement to the football program.
“Five quality candidates interviewed and Doug just stood out,” said Blair. “We believe he will build a fine program with us.”
McGill spent seven years at Rogers volunteering under Jeff Reyburn while student teaching and “hanging around until they hired me.”
His junior varsity teams compiled a 37-13-1 record while he was there.
“Part of the reason for our success is the way Dave Pomante puts a program together,” he said. “All I had to do was show up and coach.”
Pirate players went through a zero-hour conditioning program, knew what the expectations were and were disciplined.
Zero hour gets its name from the 6:30 a.m. time at which Rogers athletes arrive prior to school to work out.
Those are things McGill said he will instill at Deer Park.
Pomante said McGill lent his own special touch to the Rogers program.
“His real strength is he has such good rapport with people,” Pomante said. “He does a great job with kids and also has real good rapport with assistant coaches, which ultimately is extremely important.”
McGill’s junior varsity teams ran the basic Pirate offense and defense, but he added his own little twists, said Pomante. He helped out with special teams and scouted for the varsity.
“We could see he will treat kids positively and work to improve,” said Blair, a former Deer Park head football coach. “He’s adaptable enough to take the personnel he has and make it work. That’s what we do at our level.”
McGill played at Shorecrest High in Seattle, Spokane Falls Community College and Eastern Washington University as an outside linebacker.
He has applied for head coaching jobs for three years and was seeking the Lakeside job, which went to former Naches Valley coach Brian Dunn, before learning Deer Park was open.
Both schools compete in the newly-aligned Great Northern AA League. New to the league are defending Frontier League football champion Pullman and Colville. Returning is Riverside, which won two league championships before moving into the Frontier League two years ago.
“I realize my work is cut out for me,” said McGill. “I’m no dummy. I realize there’s a honeymoon period there. But I think it is going to turn out all right.”
He said he will do basically what Pomante does at Rogers and run the football 80 percent of the time. Depending upon personnel, he will use a one-back or two-back set and throw the football. He’s even proposing that Deer Park begins a zero-hour conditioning program.
Leaving the only high school he had coached at was difficult.
“At the same time, as I weighed the pluses and minuses, I needed to do this,” McGill said. “I see my job as getting more kids excited about Deer Park football.”
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