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Former players remember ex-Whitworth coach Daryl Squires as even-tempered gentleman

UPDATED: Tue., July 23, 2019

Former Whitworth football coach Daryl Squires, center, with his players after an undated game. (SR)
Former Whitworth football coach Daryl Squires, center, with his players after an undated game. (SR)

Even in Whitworth’s most stressful moments, former head football coach Daryl Squires maintained an even-keeled disposition.

That’s what Squires’ first starting quarterback, Ed Riley, loved about the former Pirates coach, who died May 31 in Lynden, Washington. He was 85.

Squires, who also coached and taught locally at Rogers and Riverside high schools, will be remembered Aug. 3 at a 2 p.m. memorial service at Whitworth Community Presbyterian Church.

“He definitely cared about winning and losing, but he always kept things in perspective,” said Riley, a 1980 Whitworth graduate. “Even in an era where coaches got very mad, that wasn’t him. He wanted the best for his players.”

Squires, a former two-way standout at Whitworth, took over his alma mater’s program in 1977. He posted a 12-23-1 record in four seasons, competing in an NAIA conference with national powers Linfield and Pacific Lutheran.

His run-heavy offense upset Eastern Washington at the Pine Bowl in 1979, a 16-0 win against an Eagles team making an upward trajectory toward NCAA Division I status.

Dave Pomante, a former Whitworth defensive lineman and longtime area football coach, said he learned a lot about life playing for Squires.

“Our record wasn’t great, but we were highly competitive my junior and senior seasons in a league that was very good,” said Pomante, now head coach at Newport High. “There’s a lot of coaches that have a lot of wins, but what life lessons did they leave?

“He and his wife, Connie Jo Squires, left a positive impact on so many people.”

Connie Jo, a Whitworth graduate and longtime educator, died June 25, fewer than four weeks after her husband of 64 years. She will also be remembered at the memorial service.

Squires left Whitworth in 1981 to take a high school coaching and teaching route, taking over at Rogers High in 1982, where he worked until retiring in 1993.

Squires hired Pomante as an assistant coach at Rogers. Pomante later became Rogers’ head coach.

Rick Welliver, a 1991 Rogers High graduate who owns Spokane Boxing Gym, revered Squires.

Welliver was on the freshman team during Squires’ final season as Rogers head varsity coach. Welliver knew him mostly as a physical education teacher who gave him odd jobs to earn a few bucks.

“He was the coolest. Was always baking bread at his house,” said Welliver, a former professional boxer. “He was such a good communicator with his students and a classic storyteller.”

Squires briefly came out of retirement in 1994 as Whitworth’s interim head football coach, a season in which the Pirates upset NAIA power Central Washington 44-36 on the road.

His career also included stops in Shoreline, Cle Elum, Anacortes and Bellevue.

Riley, a professor at Stanford Medical School and anesthesiologist, said Squires called him “Dr. Ed” in college.

“He was a gentleman, and so was his coaching staff,” Riley said.

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