By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
EVERETT — Joe Cronin, a 1999 graduate of Everett High School, remembers when times were good for the Cascade football team. He played against the Bruins when the wins were plentiful and the stands were full.
Now it is Cronins job to see that those days return once again.
Cronin, the former defensive coordinator at Lake Stevens, recently accepted the job to be Cascade’s varsity head football coach. It could be quite the change for the 31-year-old, just four months ago the Vikings were playing in the Tacoma Dome in the Class 4A state semifinals against Skyview. The Bruins on the other hand haven’t won a football game in two seasons.
In order to build a program, Cronin knows where he will start.
“The biggest thing that I want to do is instill work ethic,” he said.
It was something that Cronin and the rest of the coaches didn’t have to teach at Lake Stevens. The senior class this past season exhibited every day on the practice field and it carried over to game day. Cronin doesn’t expect the culture to change overnight at Cascade, but by instilling work ethic mixed with the players enjoying the game, he expects the results to come.
“I’m not completely naive,” Cronin said. “I know it’s going to be hard work. But I am willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.”
One of the first orders of business is to get in contact with his players. Since Cronin still teaches at Lake Stevens he isn’t on campus every day, so he intends to start calling his players and introducing himself.
“My goal is to get a phone list and start calling each player one-on-one who are coming back next season,” Cronin said.
Cronin also accepted the coaching position at Cascade with the understanding that the possibility of a teaching job at the school was likely, something Cronin said is important to building a program.
“I think it is imperative to be in the building,” he said.
It also wasn’t easy for Cronin to leave the school he has coached and taught at for the past eight years.
“The hardest thing about taking this job is leaving Lake Stevens,” Cronin said.
But now Cronin begins a new challenge — one of turning around an entire football program. Cronin wants to see his players in the weight room and he wants to see positive attitudes from his new players. He said if those things happen, the wins will come soon enough.
And Cronin has already started to do his part to help the players. He is currently looking into the steps that would need to be taken to get a new practice field at Cascade.
“There needs to be a new practice field at Cascade,” Cronin said. “Cascade needs a new turf field just to keep up with the Jones in the district.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at email@example.com.