Archbishop Murphy football coach Jerry Jensen fields questions at a press conference during the 2016 high school football season. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Archbishop Murphy football coach Jerry Jensen fields questions at a press conference during the 2016 high school football season. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Archbishop Murphy gets new head football coach

Interim head coach Mark Leone will replace Jerry Jensen for the 2019 season.

Jerry Jensen, who guided the Archbishop Murphy High School football team to the Class 2A state championship in 2016, is no longer the school’s head football coach.

Mark Leone will serve as the interim head coach for the upcoming season, Archbishop Murphy principal Alex Crane said. Leone, the school’s associate athletic director, was listed as an assistant coach under Jensen for at least the past three seasons.

Crane said Jensen, who has coached the Wildcats for the past six years, will continue his role as the school’s athletic director.

When asked about the reason for the coaching change, Crane said, “We were just looking for opportunities internally for Jerry to focus on his AD role.”

Attempts to reach Jensen for comment were unsuccessful.

When asked if Archbishop Murphy intends for Jensen to be involved with the football program in the future, Crane responded, “Those are options we’re hoping to explore.”

During Jensen’s six seasons at the helm, the Wildcats compiled a 51-15 record and made three consecutive 2A state semifinal appearances from 2015 to 2017.

Archbishop Murphy made national news during its 2016 state-title run when five Cascade Conference teams forfeited to the Wildcats. The forfeiting schools cited player-safety concerns over facing an Archbishop Murphy team that had six linemen listed at 260 pounds or more.

The Wildcats went 4-3 last season, losing 37-9 to Sehome in a winner-to-state Week 10 playoff game.

Jensen, a Cascade High School graduate and former All-Pac-10 linebacker at the University of Washington, was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the fifth round of the 1998 NFL draft. He appeared in 10 games with the Panthers during the 1998 NFL season.

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