Two South Puget Sound League schools filled head football coaching vacancies this week. And another is expected to hire someone by Friday.
Beamer High in Federal Way filled its job vacancy from within, replacing Dick Zatkovich with assistant coach Gem Abe.
Beamer athletic director Jerry Peterson said Abe will be the head coach on an interim basis this fall, and will have an opportunity to apply for the position and be evaluated as a permanent hire at the end of the football season.
"He’s a good fit," Peterson said. "He’s going to continue what Zatkovich has started here. And he will retain several assistants that have coached here, so we’re excited,"
Kent-Meridian High moved swiftly in filling the job left vacant when John Jarman recently stepped down. Kent-Meridian athletic director Julie Hunter said Trevor Roberts was offered and accepted the job as head coach on Friday.
For the last five years Roberts has taught at Kent-Meridian as a health and fitness instructor, and coached the offensive line at Pacific Lutheran University last season. Roberts was an all-league offensive lineman for the Lutes, and is currently an assistant coach for the Kent-Meridian track team.
"He’s an extremely good candidate, and we’re extremely excited," Hunter said about Roberts. "He’s just a quality individual."
Emerald Ridge athletic director Dell Dittus said his school is wrapping up the interviewing process for its head football coaching position, and hopes to have someone in place by Friday.
Abe coached offensive and defensive lines for Beamer last season, and was part of Zatkovich’s coaching staff when he was the head coach at Lakes and Lincoln.
A 1984 graduate of Steilacoom, Abe attended Washington State University and recently went back to earn his teaching certificate at Central Washington University, joining former Wildcat head coach John Zamberlin’s coaching staff while he was there.
Abe, 41, currently is finishing up his student teaching and hopes to earn a job teaching in the Federal Way school district. He said he will keep most of the things the same to help ease the coaching transition, and plans to lean on his mentor Zatkovich for support.
"We want to keep on building the program up," Abe said. "We got a real good start last year on it. The nice thing about Beamer is we have great kids that go there. We want to make sure our kids have a great experience and we think the wins will take care of itself, just like they did last year."
— Eric D. Williams