Archbishop Murphy hires Jerry Jensen as next football head coach

Archbishop Murphy announced that it has hired Jerry Jensen, a former assistant football coach at the school, to be the school’s next head football coach, according to the school’s athletic director Jerry Zander.

“I’m honored to be back at Archbishop Murphy,” Jensen said in a press release. “This school has a great football tradition and I’m excited to build upon that.”

Jensen played football at Cascade under Terry Ennis and at the University of Washington. After his playing days were over, Jensen was an assistant coach under Ennis and Dave Ward at Archbishop Murphy. Last season he was an assistant on Jay Silver’s staff at Mount Vernon.

“The first thing about Jerry is his football experience,” Zander said. “He’s played under Terry Ennis, Don James, Jim Lambright, Dom Capers. He has a ton of football experience that we felt was key.”

Zander said that Jensen’s connection to Archbishop Murphy and to Ennis was nice but not the deciding factor.

“First and foremost the committee felt that Jerry was the best coach throughout the interview process,” Zander said. “The fact he’s a known quantity was a bonus.”

Zander said that the school received 28 applications during the nine-day window the job was open from Dec. 3-12. From there the school narrowed that list down to six finalists who then went through an interview process performed by a committee made up of two school administrators, two Murphy coaches and a parent.

Jensen steps into a job that that has seen some recent turmoil. Archbishop Murphy has had three head coaches in the past year. Dave Ward, who had guided the Wildcats to back-to-back state championship game appearances, was put on administrative leave before being forced out in early February. His replacement Bill Marsh abruptly resigned after the fourth game of the season and Michael Allison, who was interim head coach, was put on paid administrative leave a day after his promotion due to a report that surfaced stating he’d stipulated to having an improper relationship with a former student while he coached in Oregon.

Zander confirmed Tuesday that Allison is no longer part of the Archbishop Murphy football program.

As for Jensen’s staff, he’s already confirmed the hiring of Roger Brodniak, Terry Hollimon, Joe Ennis, Shane Fortney and David Richie.

Check for more later in the day or Wednesday’s Herald.

Here’s the press release the school sent out late Tuesday:

Former UW captain and NFL player Jerry Jensen to lead Archbishop Murphy football program

Archbishop Murphy High School has hired Jerry Jensen as its head football coach.

A former Snohomish County high-school, college and NFL player, Jensen was on late AMHS head football coach Terry Ennis’ staff in 2004 and from 2007-2009.

“I’m honored to be back at Archbishop Murphy,” Jensen said. “This school has a great football tradition and I’m excited to build upon that.”

Jensen has wasted no time assembling his coaching staff. Roger Brodniak, AMHS government teacher and a member of this past season’s coaching staff, will join Jensen’s team. Terry Hollimon also will join as an assistant coach. Jensen, Brodniak and Hollimon played for Terry Ennis at Cascade High School in the early 1990s. Jensen and Hollimon went on to play at the University of Washington under legendary Husky football coaches Don James and Jim Lambright. Jensen then went on to play professional football for the Carolina Panthers under coach Dom Capers. Most recently, Jensen served as defensive coordinator at Mount Vernon High School.

In addition to Brodniak and Hollimon, Jensen’s coaching team so far includes:

-Joe Ennis: Son of Terry Ennis, Cascade High School alum and football player, and former AMHS assistant football coach

-Shane Fortney: Mariner High School alum, and UW football player

-David Richie: Kelso High School alum, UW football player, NFL player and Super Bowl XXXII champion (as a Denver Bronco), and coach at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Ore.

“Jerry is well known and highly regarded in the football community,” said AMHS Athletic Director Jerry Zander. “He knows our school and understands our program, and he’s putting together a stellar coaching staff. I’m really looking forward to working with him.”

Jensen also will join the AMHS community in a part-time support staff capacity in the Athletics Department.

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