Mike Haugen’s passion for academics won out over his passion for coaching basketball.
Gonzaga Prep’s boys basketball coach has announced his decision to step down and concentrate solely on his positions as a history department head and Advanced Placement World History instructor.
“Through the years your priorities change,” said Haugen, who in two separate stints spent 16 seasons as the Bullpups coach. “I’ve just been getting involved in more areas of the school.”
It got to the point, he said, where it had become a struggle to balance everything and find enough hours in the day to do all he wanted to do. He said he and his wife have things they want to accomplish together, including eventually teaching abroad.
“It was very, very hard to make the decision,” he said. “But at the same time there is this yearning to follow different courses in life.”
The Bullpups this past winter compiled a 26-4 record and were Greater Spokane League and District 8 champions, eventually placing fourth in the State 4A tournament. Haugen became head coach in 1992-93 and coached 11 seasons before stepping down, citing a variety of reasons. He returned to the program in 2004-05. His record at Prep was 255-173 and he was a five-time GSL coach of the year.
“This year was an incredible memory,” said Haugen. “This was a very special group and I’ll never, ever forget it. But when I got back into it five years ago it wasn’t my plan to coach up until my retirement.”
Gonzaga Prep activities coordinator Paul Manfred said the plan is to find a replacement as quickly as possible, most likely from within.
“A couple of sports you just can’t go outside the building to fill and this is one of them,” Manfred said, “unless something unique comes up.”
Haugen said his decision to step down was well-reasoned because of his love of the classroom.
“I guess it goes back to an old coach I heard in a clinic many, many years ago,” Haugen said. “He talked about how a good coach is a good teacher and should be doing well in the classroom. I’ve always kind of held onto that.”
Goalkeeping was not for the faint of heart when East Valley and North Central soccer teams took on league-leading Lewis and Clark this year.
The Tigers peppered the nets with a barrage of shots, but keepers Mason Smith of the Knights and Garrett Brickey of the Indians accepted the challenge. Between them, the pair turned away 55 shots in 1-0 and 2-1 losses, the latter in a shootout. It was NC’s second shootout loss of the week.
Smith made 22 saves against LC on April 15, an effort Knights coach Jeff Paulus called, “miraculous. He was huge.”
On Friday, Brickey stopped 33 shots, “a season’s worth,” said NC coach Mica Lamb.
“LC has so much talent up front and in the midfield, so obviously they create a lot of offense. Garrett was incredible,” said Lamb. “His best save was on a partial breakaway by LC’s Jamal Angell where he came off his line and made an acrobatic dive to take the ball off his foot just as he was shooting. Many of LC’s shots on our goal were from distance, allowing Garrett to make some easy saves as well, but he was busy to say the least.”
Greater Spokane League soccer is as unsettled this year as it was last going into the final week of the regular season. The Tigers (8-2, 8-0) have 23 points, two more than Mead (7-3, 7-2, 21), three points up on Central Valley (9-1, 7-1, 20) and five ahead of Ferris (7-3, 6-2, 18).
Any of the four could conceivably win league, although LC needs but one regulation win to secure at least a tie. The Tigers play the Saxons on Wednesday, 5 p.m. at Hart Field, and finish at CV, 6:30 on Friday. If the Bears win out – they host NC Wednesday – they’d at least tie for the title a second straight year.
Goalies, get ready.
Mead track ready
Mead’s boys, impressive in big meets, captured the 45th Centennial Invitational meet in Gresham, Ore., during the weekend and the Panthers tied for the girls title.
The boys scored 102 points, 35 ahead of second place, while winning five events and going one-two in two of them. High jumper A.J. Maricich remained consistent at 6-foot-8 and beat teammate Ryane Laforte by four inches. Keith Webber and Justin Hurtubise were first and second in the pole vault at 14-6 and 14-0.
Other winners were Jordan Curnutt at 800 meters (1:55.7), Steve Kutsch in the 1,500 (4:03.46) and Justin Graff in the javelin (176-4).
In the girls meet, Mead tied Columbia River with 60 points as Baylee Mires ran a personal- and area-best 2:14.32 800 and won the 1,500 (4:41.23).
The 1,600 relay team (Alexa Banaugh, Krissy Hund, Jazmine Redmon and Mires) timed 4:00.79 to take over the state lead from G-Prep. Redmon also won the long jump at 17-21/2 and placed in both the 100 and 200.
Making herself at home
Lewis and Clark’s Sarah Kliewer will continue her basketball career next year at the University of Portland.
On her future home court, Chiles Arena, Kliewer scored 17 points during Washington’s 75-65 victory over Oregon in the girls Northwest Shootout All-Star game two weekends ago. Kliewer was second-leading scorer for the victors who – like Washington’s boys – won for the third straight year.
Two exchange students from Thailand, one attending Harrington the other Creston, traveled some 9,000 miles from home only find themselves playing against each other in a tennis match last week. Wilbur-Creston’s Wannita Cherdchairith defeated Sprague-Harrington’s Bees Ratpibul 6-3, 6-7 (7-4), 7-5 in No. 1 singles. The Falcons, however, won the match 3-1.
Three weeks of Greater Spokane League softball and a stretch of important games remain. Mead (10-3) – two of those losses to fourth-place Shadle Park – hosts Central Valley (11-2) today and is at first-place University (13-1) on Thursday as the three 4A teams jockey for playoff position. The Panthers beat both the first time they met.
•The top three GSL baseball teams, University (12-1), Mead (11-2) and Central Valley (11-3), maintained status quo. The Panthers and Bears play home-and-home today and Thursday.