PREP NOTES: Crescent football coach Rooney steps down

THE ARCHITECT OF the Crescent football team’s return to relevance stepped down Friday.

After building the Loggers into a competitive eight-man program following a decade of futility, head coach Tim Rooney decided building a family was more important.

Rooney officially resigned his position Friday so he could be with his fiancee, Nicole Radzik, in west Seattle.

He had gone 17-32 in his five seasons at the helm, including a 16-13 mark in the final three when the Loggers reached the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the late 1990s.

“It was one of toughest decisions I’ve had to make in my life,” said Rooney, also a fifth-grade teacher at Crescent and former student from kindergarten through 12th grade.

“It was really tough having to tell the kids.

“There was a lot of emotions. But I told them life changes from day to day.

“I’m sure some are disappointed and possibly a little mad or hurt, but I think overall they understand.”

Rooney’s popularity with the players is understandable.

Still young enough to relate to them, the 32-year-old built teams that became extended families for the players and coaches.

He was a part of the Loggers’ glory days in the 1990s, playing on B-8 semifinalist his junior and senior years.

Thus, he had a special insight into what it takes to win in Joyce.

The Loggers football program was rich with history, reaching state 12 times between 1974 and 1996 and winning one B-8 title in ’96.

But it stumbled through most of the 2000s because of coaching instability.

Rooney brought back assistant Mike Hazelett — defensive coordinator of the ’96 state champions — once he was hired to help rekindle the success it once had.

After winning just one game in his first two seasons, they guided Crescent to back-to-back playoff appearances in 2008-09.

That included the team’s first Class 1B state playoff trip in 13 years in 2009, when the Loggers went 7-4 behind running back Dylen Heaward’s otherworldly season (2,298 total yards, 46 TDs).

“I feel like the program is in better shape than when we took it over,” said Rooney, the Pacific Coast League coach of the year in 2008.

“We like to think that we improved every year not only on the field but in the class room and community as well.

“It’s a good group of kids, great community there and even the school, it’s really tough to leave.”

Crescent athletic director Dave Bingham said the job will be posted immediately.

Whoever takes the job will also have to find a replacement for Hazelett.

He submitted his resignation Friday so that he could attend more of his daughter’s high school events.

Bingham said the plan is to have the head coach position filled by June, so the new staff can begin working with kids during the summer contact period.

“Because of budget issues and so forth I don’t imagine that we’ll have a teaching position to go with it,” Bingham said.

“I would assume that we’ll probably end up with an existing staff member or somebody from the community.

“[Rooney’s departure] is a blow to our program, there’s no question about that.

“But we are all more than just coaches and teachers.

“Tim has a chance to build a life with somebody. Far be it for us to get in the way of something like that.”

The Loggers went 3-5 in Rooney’s final season earlier this fall, missing the postseason for the first time in two years.

Having to replace a large senior class from the year before, he played numerous sophomores.

He is quite confident that group will step up in his absence next fall.

“They are great kids, great student athletes and great members of the community,” Rooney said.

“I don’t see anything but great things for them.”

Soccer preview

While other teams have seen games moved to future dates because of all the rain that has pounded the Peninsula, boys soccer plays on.

Almost all of the teams in the area have gotten in five or more games at this point in the season, making our soccer preview a little less than timely.

Nonetheless, the preview capsules on Page B3 of the print edition today should provide some insight into what to expect from the teams this season.

It appears that soccer is starting to take a strong foothold in the area.

Not only has Peninsula College constructed its impressive facility and won a men’s soccer NWAACC title, but high school programs around the area are showing signs of improvement.

It’s an exciting time for fans of the Peninsula pitch.


Matt Schubert is the outdoors and sports columnist for the Peninsula Daily News. His column regularly appears on Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at

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