Roger Haug spent the last years of his career at Cascade High School, but that doesn’t change how generations of students and many colleagues will always know him — as an Everett High Seagull who bleeds blue and gold.
“I always viewed him as Mr. Everett High School,” said Steve Bertrand, a teacher and longtime track and cross-country coach at Everett’s Cascade High.
Haug, 65, retired June 22 after 43 years of teaching and coaching in the Everett district, most of that time at Everett High. He coached football 43 years, basketball for 38 years, track and field for a decade, and softball for a year.
Although Haug marked the end of his teaching career with a retirement party last week, he isn’t through assisting young athletes.
On Tuesday, he talked by phone from Spokane, where he is helping with the 4A/3A East-West All-State football game. Haug is helping the Washington State Football Coaches Association with logistics for the annual game, scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at Gonzaga Prep high school in Spokane.
Haug grew up in north Everett’s Riverside neighborhood. He attended Garfield Elementary School and North Junior High before moving on to Everett High, where he lettered every year in football, basketball and track and field. A 1969 graduate of Everett High, he played football for the Central Washington University Wildcats and earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education.
He didn’t start out thinking Everett High was his destiny. “My goal was to go somewhere else. I already knew about Everett,” said Haug, who worked summers and after college graduation at Weyerhaeuser Mill B in Everett. “Teaching jobs were pretty scarce,” Haug recalled.
In 1973, the call came from the Everett School District. Haug had a teaching and coaching job. He shared a story with Bertrand, who has written an article about Haug to be published later this year in The Washington Coach magazine.
Haug told Bertrand that when he was hired that fall to teach PE and coach Seagull football, then-Everett superintendent Owen Forbes told him that no matter what district athletic director Jim Ennis said, “you work for me.” Later, Ennis would tell Haug that no matter what the superintendent told him, “you work for me.”
“Evidently it was a longstanding joke between the two administrators,” Bertrand wrote.
For the past seven years, Haug taught PE and senior seminar at Cascade, while still assisting with coaching football and basketball at Everett High. At Cascade, Bertrand and Haug shared an office.
Bertrand, a Cascade alumnus, said that in his 38 years as a teacher and coach, he and Haug have crossed paths often. When Haug first came to Cascade, Bertrand said he wondered what “this die-hard Seagull was doing out here in Bruinville.”
Watching his new co-worker, Bertrand began to notice Haug’s special way with kids. “He was professional, organized, disciplined and had a nice sense of humor,” Bertrand said. “Even when it was justified, he never threw a kid under the bus. He was always positive.”
Bertrand, 61, has relished Haug’s stories about friends and other coaches, and his memories of golf tournaments and other events. Haug plays pinochle with an Everett High alumni group.“It was about people with Roger,” Bertrand said.
“Roger is an all-around good person. He never changed who he was, no matter whether the teams were winning or losing,” said Robert Polk, the Everett district’s athletic director. “He has a positive quality that kind of radiates out to people even in challenging times.”
As a teacher, Haug said he tried to be understanding but had basic rules: “Be here on time, do the right thing, and good things will happen. Treat people the way you want to be treated.”
This summer, he plans to visit Alaska where one of his sons is a fisherman. Blake Haug is also a substitute teacher and coach in the Everett district. Roger Haug and his wife, Maree, have two other children, Kelbea and Cale.“I’m looking forward to the fall. I’ve never had a fall off,” Haug said.
He has his own interpretation of Everett High’s motto, “School of Champions.”
“To be a champion doesn’t have to mean to win a sports championship. Coming out as a good person, productive in society, can make you a champion,” he said.
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; firstname.lastname@example.org.