Kevin Judkins retired as the athletic director at Glacier Peak after the school year. Judkins had been the school’s AD since 2017. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Kevin Judkins retired as the athletic director at Glacier Peak after the school year. Judkins had been the school’s AD since 2017. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Local high school sports pillar, Glacier Peak AD Judkins retires

The Hall of Fame wrestling coach and athletic director has spent over 40 years involved in Snohomish County sports.

SNOHOMISH — Kevin Judkins had been in the game a long time before calling it a career at the end of the school year.

Judkins’ retirement as athletic director at Glacier Peak ended a 40-plus-year resume of involvement in Snohomish County sports.

Before taking over the position at Glacier Peak in 2017, Judkins had been in and around the high school wrestling scene for decades. He also taught math and was hired as a teacher in 2008, the school’s opening year.

After announcing his retirement, Judkins was replaced as athletic director by Rory Rosenbach, who was Glacier Peak’s first head football coach from 2008-2015. Rosenbach had been the head football coach at Union High School.

“We’ve been a pretty high achieving school from Day 1,” Judkins said. “Very strong parental and community support in both activities and athletics. It’s been a school that a lot of people look up to because of the mixture of community within the school and staff.”

After serving as an assistant wrestling coach at Ferndale from 1983-85 and head coach at Alderwood Middle School from 1985-87, Judkins’ coaching career took off at Lynnwood High School, where he was the school’s head wrestling coach from 1989-2002 as well as a math teacher. He coached at Snohomish High School from 2002-2008 before settling at GP.

Over his time as a head coach, Judkins compiled a 217-82-1 record while coaching 10 state champions and 44 state placers. He was named Wesco Coach of the Year seven times, as well as Regional Coach of the Year three times. In 2008, he was named 4A State Coach of the Year.

In 2012, Judkins was inducted into the Washington State Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He was also named to the Washington Activity Coordinators Hall of Fame in 2007.

Known for his organization and dedication to student success, Judkins’ presence will be missed around the community.

Former Snohomish athletic director Mark Perry, who also retired from his post after the 2023 school year, worked closely with Judkins over the years. Both took over as athletic directors in 2017 for their respective schools.

“Him and I have been partners through this AD thing for a long time,” Perry said. “We talk sometimes five or six times a day with different questions. He’s been at it a long time as well and what a great asset to Glacier Peak, to our league, to the kids in this district. Kevin’s been phenomenal.”

Perry helped recruit Judkins to Snohomish after he had stepped down from his coaching gig at Lynnwood. Perry had been Snohomish’s head wrestling and football coach for six years before Judkins’ arrival. Perry’s oldest son, Brad Perry, won the 140-pound state title in Judkins’ final season at Snohomish.

“We had a lot of ties in the wrestling community, doing a lot of the same things,” Judkins said. “He’s a former math teacher and we have very similar philosophies when it comes to athletics and kids. We go way back, (and) the last six years of being able to work hand-in-hand with him … it’s been special. Even though we are the same age, he’s been like a mentor to me throughout.”

Having been with Glacier Peak since the school’s grand opening in 2008, Judkins points to the many familiar faces that have lasted with the school that impact steady success within its programs.

“I think it’s an excellent group. You look at the longevity of some of the coaches, I think it helps equate to the success of those programs,” Judkins said. “Some of our most successful programs have been the ones that have longevity in the coaching staff. I think that goes to say, when a coach is there and able to build a culture and engrain it into the school, they’ve seen a lot of success. They all brought different strengths to the table, they’re good people and they’re good for kids.”

Head coaches Bob Blair (baseball), Melinda Torre (girls soccer), Brian Hill (girls basketball) and Bryan Mossburg (wrestling) have all been with Glacier Peak from the start.

“We’ve known each other for a long time,” Brian Hill said, who also coached at Snohomish from 2005-08. “He does such a great job at deflecting all the noise that comes with being an athletic director. He was always on our side and always had our backs, and that’s big. … An AD has to believe in their coaches, and I think he does a great job at giving us the support we need. Part of that comes from him being a Hall of Fame coach and understanding the coaching point of view.”

Post-retirement, Judkins said he plans on remaining involved, mainly assisting with and running wrestling tournaments from time to time, but will also enjoy some time away.

“I think I’ll take the next few months to figure out what I wanna do when I grow up,” Judkins quipped. “Forty years of working with kids, it keeps you young at heart. I couldn’t ask for a better profession.”

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