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

Everett’s Ondrej Vala controls the puck with Swift Current’s Beck Malenstyn trailing Sunday afternoon at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett on January 21, 2018. The Silvertips won 4-1. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Silvertips beat Swift Current, keep winning streak alive

U.S. Division-leading Everett has won seven straight WHL games

Foles, Eagles fly into Super Bowl, rout Vikings 38-7

Philadelphia is headed to the Super Bowl for the first time in 13 years

Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England climbed back from a 20-10 deficit in the fourth quarter against Jacksonville.

UW women earn their first Pac-12 victory of the season

Junior forward Hannah Johnson enjoys a career day as Washington tops Washington State, 56-49

POLL: Evaluating the Seahawks’ assistant coaching changes

Which change — offensive coordinator, offensive line coach, defensive coordinator — is biggest?

Dedication drives local coaches into 100-Season Club

Commitment to student-athletes is a hallmark of the area’s longest-tenured coaches.

Everett’s Tori Odom, right, attempts a shot with Edmonds’ Jake Higgins defending Saturday night at the Walt Price Student Fitness Center in Everett on January 20, 2018. The Trojans won 117-100. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
EvCC races past EdCC in NWAC North showdown

Gio Jackson scores 32 points to lead the Trojans over the Tritons 117-100.

Former QB on Schottenheimer: ‘He’s a win-first’ OC

Kellen Clemens has had the new Seahawks’ play-caller as his coordinator for 7 of his 11 NFL seasons.

Huskies men overcome slow start to beat Colorado

Jaylen Nowell scores 19 points and Matisse Thybulle adds 18 in UW’s 72-62 win.

Most Read