Longtime Marysville Pilchuck wrestling coach retires

Craig Iversen, who coached 2 Tomahawks’ state champs, will be replaced by 2011 grad Marcus Haughian.

Craig Iversen, the head coach for Marysville-Pilchuck, seen here Dec. 12, 2012, has retired from coaching after 20 seasons. (Annie Mulligan / Herald file)

Craig Iversen, the head coach for Marysville-Pilchuck, seen here Dec. 12, 2012, has retired from coaching after 20 seasons. (Annie Mulligan / Herald file)

Craig Iversen had been mulling stepping down as Marysville Pilchuck’s wrestling coach for a few years, but after leading the Tomahawks for 20 seasons, he wanted to make sure the program was in good health when he took his leave.

With top-caliber talent returning on both ends of the weight spectrum, and a tailor-made replacement on hand in assistant coach Marcus Haughian, Iversen felt the time was right.

Shortly after February’s state tournament — during which Iversen and Haughian sat in junior Cayden White’s corner during the 3A championship bout at 170 pounds — Iversen informed Marysville Pilchuck athletic director Paul Dockendorf that he was retiring from coaching.

In May, Haughian, a 2011 graduate of Marysville Pilchuck and a collegiate wrestler at Grand Canyon University and Colorado Mesa University, was hired to replace him.

“We had a pretty neat year last year, and didn’t have any problems,” Iversen said. “I wanted to end my time when things were good. We have a neat thing going and we had an incredible candidate already as an assistant. It was just natural timing.”

Iversen will stay on as a U.S. History and Civics teacher at Marysville Pilchuck, and is also the president of the Marysville School District coaches’ association. He came to Marysville Pilchuck after five seasons as the head coach at Burlington-Edison, and coached a pair of Tomahawks to state championships — Israel Silva in 2000 and Killian Page in 2015.

Iversen gives way to Haughian, 26, who competed for an NCAA Division II national championship with Colorado Mesa in 2016 and immediately got into coaching. He spent a year as a volunteer assistant at MP before joining Iversen’s staff prior to the 2017-18 season.

He had planned to go to dental school, but fell in love with teaching and the appeal of passing on his wrestling knowledge to kids in Marysville. Haughian teaches science and math at Lakewood Middle School, west of Smokey Point.

“Wrestling was just something I didn’t want to give up, and going back to where I came from and being a guide to other student-athletes is important to me,” Haughian said. “Wrestling has been a big part of my life since I was young, and I want to show kids that being involved in athletics can help them do well in school and just do the right things. I want to help make kids successful.”

Marysville-Pilchuck head wrestling coach Craig Iversen, center, cheers on his team Dec. 12, 2012 during a nonconference meet against Arlington High School, then coached by his father, Rick Iversen. (Annie Mulligan / Herald file)

Marysville-Pilchuck head wrestling coach Craig Iversen, center, cheers on his team Dec. 12, 2012 during a nonconference meet against Arlington High School, then coached by his father, Rick Iversen. (Annie Mulligan / Herald file)

Iversen said the technique he’s been teaching the Tomahawks is a bit outdated, and Haughian likely will bring some new approaches to the wrestling room.

“I laughed earlier that our technique package — every school has its own deal, and ours has worked for us — but it’s kind of an old-school, 1970s style,” Iversen said. “Marcus bringing a shot of energy in there will be good.”

Iversen said he didn’t have any direct input on Haughian’s hiring other than acting as a reference for his work as an assistant, but fully endorses the move.

“He’s a proven product and an MP alum. He’s just the right guy. He’s a mat rat and has all the other things you’d want. He’s the full package,” Iversen said.

Haughian will have White and two-time state participant Austin Davis back as leaders in the room next season, along with 2019 state participant Ikaika Naweli.

Haughian, who wrestled at 197 pounds for Colorado Mesa, has been a frequent practice partner of White’s during the latter’s high school career.

“Cayden is an exceptional wrestler, and my first year as an assistant was his freshman year, so I’ve really been on the journey with him the whole way. I’ve tried to give him different looks and show him some different techniques and strategy. I’m excited that he’ll be one of my first leaders as a head coach,” he said.

“I really believe Craig does a great job of building athletes on a personal level and gets out the best in their character,” Haughian said. “I think that MP has a great foundation, and I came from MP, so I believe in it. Being kind of fresh out of college, I have some new techniques, exercises and practice strategies that will help mold the program in a new, positive way.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Marysville Pilchuck girls wrestler Alivia White, who his committed to wrestle at the University of Iowa next year. Iowa is set to become the first NCAA D-I school at the Power Five level to offer a varsity women’s wrestling team allowing White a unique opportunity of being a part of a historic moment for the sport. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
MP star Alivia White helps blaze trail in women’s wrestling

The 2-time state champ signed with Iowa, which is set to roll out the first varsity women’s wrestling team at a Power 5 school.

Lake Stevens’ Koen Mattern and Glacier Peak’s Dane Chapman wrestle during the 220 pound weight class match at Lake Stevens High School on Thursday Jan. 26, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Lake Stevens tops GP, claims another Wesco 4A wrestling title

The Vikings found success all evening, racing to a 60-19 win over the Grizzlies in the de facto league-title dual.

X
Prep roundup for Saturday, Jan. 28

Prep roundup for Saturday, Jan. 28: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Silvertips gamers with no art.
Hemmerling’s OT goal pushes Silvertips past Broncos

Everett goaltender Tyler Palmer makes 37 saves in the win.

X
Prep roundup for Friday, Jan. 27

Prep roundup for Friday, Jan. 27: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Silvertips gamers with no art.
Silvertips fall on road to Americans

Tyler Palmer makes 37 saves, but Everett loses 2-1 to Tri-City.

EC’s Damajio Merritt (20) fights for the ball during a men’s game between the Everett Community College Trojans and Edmonds College Tritons at Seaview Gymnasium at Edmonds College in Lynnwood, Washington on Wednesday Jan. 25, 2023. The Tritons won, 91-84. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Tritons top Trojans in heavyweight NWAC hoops battle

Edmonds uses a 14-0 run to start the second half to take control of a game between top men’s teams.

Arlington’s Samara Morrow looks to cut to the basket against Stanwood on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Arlington girls rally past rival Stanwood in key league showdown

Standout senior Jenna Villa pours in 29 points and the Eagles ride a third-quarter surge to victory.

People gather in front of the Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame display case during the 2022 Hall of Fame banquet Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2022, at the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Community roundup: Nominations open for county Hall of Fame

Plus, Jacob Eason signs a futures deal with Carolina, UW’s Sami Reynolds gets a preseason honor and more.

X
Prep roundup for Thursday, Jan. 26

Prep roundup for Thursday, Jan. 26: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

X
Archbishop Murphy names Cronin new head football coach

The Everett High School alum was the head coach at Cascade from 2012-13 and most recently was an assistant coach at O’Dea.

Ryan Scott. (Photo provided by AquaSox)
AquaSox’s coaching staff for 2023 announced

Ryan Scott, 27, takes over for Eric Farris as Everett’s manager for the upcoming season.