Longtime Snohomish County football coach Dick Abrams, who has spent the past four years at Monroe, resigned Wednesday from the Bearcats. Abrams said it was simply a matter of wanting to “take advantage” of an early retirement option put forth by the school district. Abrams is a psychologist at Monroe High School.
“I’m looking at some new challenges and adventures,” Abrams said. “… Find some new things to get excited about. It was great here. I really enjoyed my time at Monroe. Leaving on good terms.”
Abrams’ started coaching in Snohomish County in 1988 as an assistant coach at Cascade with legendary coach Terry Ennis. He became the first head coach in Jackson’s history when the school opened in the mid-1990s and coached the Timberwolves for four years before going taking over at Marysville Pilchuck for four years.
Abrams then coached at Stanwood for seven years, where his son played for him. After coaching at Port Angeles for a year, he returned to Snohomish County and became an assistant coach for Dave Telford at Monroe. After one season, Telford departed and Abrams became the head coach, a position he has held for the past three seasons.
“We’ve gone to playoff contention three years in a row now under coach Abrams,” said first-year Monroe Athletic Director Joe Delp, who was on the hiring committee that promoted Abrams to the head position at Monroe. “We’ve seen a big increase in the numbers of participants. I think that’s the two biggest things.
“His demeanor was always positive,” Delp added. “He always spoke respectfully to the kids. He just was pretty calm. He allowed the assistants to do their work and directed the program. He has very good communication skills.”
During his tenure at Monroe there have been some great moments, said Abrams, who lives in Stanwood with his wife Trudy. During his first season as head coach, Abrams led the Bearcats to their first winning record in 19 years. The following season Monroe won its first league title in 20 years when it took the Wesco North 4A crown.
Abrams also pointed to the most recent season’s homecoming game against Arlington, dubbed “The Ashley Bowl,” named after Abrams’ daughter, Ashley, who is married to Eagles’ head coach Greg Dailer. The Bearcats scored with about a minute left in the game to pull out a 19-15 win over Arlington.
“We’ve had some great memories here,” Abrams said. “There’ve been some great times, great kids and great memories. I’m sad to leave but it’s time.”
The Abrams own a house in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho where they hope to move eventually. Trudy Abrams, who coaches tennis for the Spartans, is going to finish out the year at Stanwood and then “we’ll see what happens,” Richard Abrams said.
Abrams is not ruling out a return to coaching once he gets to Idaho.
“It depends if anything opens up,” Abrams said. “If something opens up I’d love to get back into it. I don’t feel like I’m done coaching.
“I’m just done coaching in Washington.”
Here’s a look at Dick Abrams’ stops in his 40-year coaching career:
1976-78 Grad asst. at Central Washington Univ.
1979-84 Asst. coach at Kamiakin H.S.
1984-88 Asst. coach at Ferris H.S., Lewis and Clark H.S
1988-94 Asst. coach at Cascade H.S. (under Terry Ennis)
1994-98 First-ever head coach at Jackson H.S.
1998-2002 Head coach Marysville-Pilchuck H.S.
2002-2009 Head coach Stanwood H.S.
2009-2010 Head coach Port Angeles H.S.
2010-2011 Asst. coach Monroe H.S.
2011-2014 Head coach Monroe H.S.