After 17 years with the
Sequim High School football team, Brian O’Hara is joining the Port Townsend ranks.
O’Hara has been hired for the supplemental position of Port Townsend High School head varsity football coach for the 2008-2009 school year. He has held many coaching positions over the past 28 years, most recently being an assistant football coach at Sequim High. Football offense was his specialty.
"I enjoy investing time in the kids," O’Hara said. "If they are willing to follow along with me, I believe I can help them achieve their full potential."
O’Hara said he has been involved with football since he was about 8 years old. Since then, he always has been either a player or a coach.
"I’ve enjoyed being in the coaching positions and interacting with young men," he said.
O’Hara succeeds Tom Sly, who coached the Redskins varsity to a combined win-loss record of 5-12 in two years. Sly resigned last spring to take a job out of state.
O’Hara’s wife, Aldryth, has a business in Port Townsend, and the couple has a home there. He said he enjoys the community, so when the coaching opportunity came up, "it seemed like a very nice fit."
Sequim head coach Erik Wiker sees O’Hara as a good fit in Port Townsend as well. The two worked together when Wiker took an assistant job under coach Bill Anderson in 2000.
O’Hara was Wiker’s wide receiver and defensive back coach as well as co-offensive coordinator.
"He’s a teacher, and knows how football (and school) co-exist together," Wiker said. "The kids love him; he’s fun to be around. He relates well with the young kids, so they’re not intimidated."
Wiker called O’Hara a particularly laid-back coach, a technician with a keen mind for the aerial side of the game.
"His (play) calling will definitely be on the offensive side of the ball," Wiker said. "They’ll probably be throwing the ball a lot more."
This season, Port Townsend’s Redskins return to the 1A classification and will compete in the 1A/2B Nisqually League for football. PTHS remains in the 2A/3A Olympic League for other sports but will be in the 1A rank for postseason competition.
"I’m really excited for what the season may bring for us," O’Hara said. "I’d like us to focus on some common goals and improve on what has been built by past coaches."
The Redskins coaching staff returns basically intact from last season, just with a new head coach.
Football practices for both Port Townsend and Sequim teams begin Aug. 20; unlike the previous six years, the Redskins and Wolves will not play each other. In those games – six league contests and a nonleague meeting, Sequim is 7-0.
Wiker is glad the Wolves and Redskins won’t be playing each other, after an offseason of sharing ideas, techniques and practices with O’Hara and the Redskins.
"It would be hard if we had to play (against) him for a league game," Wiker said.
Port Townsend opens the 2008 season at home Sept. 5 against Coupeville; Sequim opens in Forks the same evening.
– Sequim Gazette sports editor Michael Dashiell contributed to this report.