Central Washington fires Bennett as head coach

  • Herald staff
  • Friday, August 9, 2013 5:36pm
  • Sports

ELLENSBURG — Blaine Bennett has been fired as the football coach at Division II Central Washington just days before the Wildcats begin fall camp.

The school announced the decision Friday, less than a month before the team opens the season against Texas A&M-Kingsville. Long-time assistant John Picha has been appointed to be the Wildcats’ interim head coach.

The move affects a number of former Snohomish County football players like Mitch Haldane (Mountlake Terrace) and Jerod Baker (Arlington), who have played for Bennett for multiple seasons.

Athletic director Dennis Francois said the school chose to move in another direction and that a national search for a permanent head coach would start after the season.

Bennett was hired in 2008 after John Zamberlin left to become head coach at Idaho State. Bennett was 41-16 in his five seasons as Central’s coach. No reason was given by the school for Bennett’s firing.

Picha joined the football staff as a graduate assistant in 1988 and played for the school in 1986 and 1987.

Lake Stevens’ grads Jake Nelson, Christian Gasca, Korey Young and Brady Pahukoa, Blake Williams-Miller (Everett) and Nic Cooper (Kamiak) are all in their second season at Central, while a number of other incoming freshmen like Justin Peterson (Lakewood), Sean Elledge (Glacier Peak), Desmond Young (Edmonds-Woodway) and Brian and Kyle O’Donnell (Stanwood) will now have to play for a different coach than the one that they thought they’d be playing for.

Here’s a collection of tweets from former Snohomish County football players who are on the Central Washington roster.

More in Sports

Rams rout Seahawks 42-7 in NFC West showdown

Los Angeles built a 34-0 halftime lead and cruised to the victory.

RPI has changed way hoops coaches approach non-league games

The implementation of RPI for state-tourney seeding has local basketball coaches thinking differently.

Everett’s Dustin Wolf stops a shot Saturday night at the Angels of the Winds Arena in Everett on December 16, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Sivertips bounce back, rout Cougars 4-0

Dustin Wolf notches his first career shutout as Everett rebounds from a loss to beat Prince George.

How might NHL team in Seattle impact Silvertips?

A look at local reaction to the possibility of the NHL coming to Seattle.

Seahawks ditch ‘every game is the same’ mantra for Rams showdown

Seattle hosts first-place Los Angeles in what is essentially the NFC West championship game on Sunday.

Freshmen contributing for UW men’s basketball team

Mike Hopkins likes what he’s seen from his freshmen through… Continue reading

Saturday’s prep scores, recaps

BOYS BASKETBALL Neah Bay 61, Darrington 55 Bellingham 77, Sultan 55 Interlake… Continue reading

Smalley resigns as Snohomish football coach

Kai Smalley has resigned his position as head coach of the Snohomish… Continue reading

Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams inactives report

Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner will play, but his running partner K.J. Wright will not.

Most Read