PREPS: Lone Star to the Wolf Pack

Sequim hires Texas coach as new AD/football coach

When the best man at your wedding provides some career advice down the line, you should listen.

That’s the early takeaway from Sequim’s recent hire of Ian Henley, a teacher and associate head football coach at Timber Creek High School in Fort Worth-suburb Keller, Texas, as the new athletic director and head football coach for the Wolves.

“One of my best friends worked at Port Angeles for a while and he was moving back to Washington and he gave me a call and said it was a good time to look for a new position and he gave me the name of a couple of places,” Henley said.

“My buddy Brent Wasche, he was best man at my wedding and we coached football and wrestling together in Texas. He’s the one who really turned our attention to Sequim.”

The beauty of the North Olympic Peninsula and its mild climate took a firm hold on Henley, his wife Jessica and 4-year-old son Rhys.

“We got really lucky with the community,” Henley said of Sequim. “We will be able to get out of the Texas heat and enjoy the Pacific Northwest. My wife was born up there and has always wanted to get back.

“To be close to the national park, the national forests, to take Rhys camping and raise him near the coast to enjoy the outdoors, which is not stuff we’ve been able to do living in Texas,” Henley said. “It’s 101 degrees today and it will be that or hotter for months.

“And the goal, hopefully, is for Rhys to graduate from Sequim. And we will do the best to make that happen from coaching to serving as athletic director.”

Henley attended Texas A&M as a member of the school’s Corps of Cadets, but asthma cut short a potential military career and he turned his sights on education, becoming a teacher.

He brings nearly 30 years of coaching experience, including the last seven at Timber Creek, a school in the largest classification in Texas (6A), along with prior stops as a teacher and coach at a tiny combined junior/senior high school and in Van Vleck, Texas, at a similar-sized school as Sequim, Henley said.

“The small school needed another baseball coach, I loved it and jumped into coaching,” Henley said. “The second school had a football program, so I started coaching there and also coached wrestling, baseball and track. I’ve pretty much coached everything besides girls soccer or volleyball.”

Henley succeeds Erik Wiker, who led the Wolves from 2004-2023 and is the program’sall-time leader in wins and playoff appearances, with a final record of 123 victories, 76 losses, eight league championships and 12 postseason appearances.

Multi-tasking required

Aware of the numerous responsibilities entrusted to a head coach and athletic director, Henley is assembling an experienced football coaching staff able to take the reins at a practice if he needs to handle another activity.

“I knew that it was going to be a big ask coming in there and filling the athletic director role there in Sequim and being conscious of all the other athletic programs, so I looked for guys who can help with the teaching aspect of things on offense and defense while I can give full attention to the AD position and be there for girls soccer or volleyball or cross country during the fall,” Henley said.

New Sequim athletic director/head football coach Ian Henley speaks with a Timber Creek (Keller, Texas) player on the sidelines. Henley previously served as associate head coach and special teams coordinator for the school, which plays in 6A, the largest classification in Texas.

New Sequim athletic director/head football coach Ian Henley speaks with a Timber Creek (Keller, Texas) player on the sidelines. Henley previously served as associate head coach and special teams coordinator for the school, which plays in 6A, the largest classification in Texas.

Henley took a big swing and asked Sequim’s previous head coach, Erik Wiker, who spent 20 years in the position before stepping back this spring, to serve as offensive coordinator.

“I’m a believer in building an offense off of a power running game, so we will have counter and power running plays, but the game has moved past running the ball 80 to 90 percent of the time. I think we will have the ability to spread things out, use run-pass-option plays with the talent we have. And Coach Wiker will help me learn about the personnel we have.”

Vic Reykdal, a former assistant on Wasche’s Port Angeles teams and a former Roughrider baseball head coach, will serve as defensive coordinator out of a 4-2-5 package with multiple looks.

And kicking/snapping specialist Cody Buckmaster will return to guide the team’s kicking and long-snapping special teams units.

“Special teams can be the great equalizer, and it can help you win close football games,” Henley said. “It’s really the key to deciding games that are less than one touchdown.”

Henley met with team members and parents earlier in June, letting them know his program expectations and what players and parents can expect from him.

“They are going to get the best effort that I can give them,” Henley said. “They will be treated like my sons, and the goal is to mold them into successful adults. I will be there for them, work hard for them to make every kid from freshman to senior be as successful as they can be.”

And Henley said he will focus on building character and leadership skills.

“The goal is to win football games, but the real goal is to teach them to be successful humans able to lead their peers toward a goal. I really want our football players and athletes to be high-character individuals and successful off the field after high school.

Henley will be in and out of Sequim at times this summer as he and his family pack and move halfway across the country.

“We will have a team camp at the high school in July,” Henley said. “They didn’t have spring football, so this will get them some time in pads. And we will get them lifting during the August [coaching] moratorium before hitting the ground running on Aug. 21 [first day of football practice].”

Sequim will host Forks in the season opener on Sept. 6.