McEwen resigns after eight years as HHS football coach

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Official notice last month that three teaching contracts would not be renewed by Unified School District 410 has had a ripple effect with the resignation of Dustin McEwen as Hillsboro High School football and baseball coach and math teacher.

McEwen and wife Sunshine, whose contract at Hillsboro Elementary School was not going to be renewed for the next school year, have signed contracts to teach in the Cheney school system, he said Monday

McEwen said he and his family had initially decided to stay in Hillsboro even though Sunshine would not have a full-time teaching position.

“Then reality kind of set in with the idea of us possibly not being in the same place and Sunshine having to drive to be employed,” he said.

“The unknown variable of not not knowing what was going to go on (in Hillsboro) just got to be too much to handle. The deadlines for when things were taking place here didn’t give us many options to wait around.

“The idea of what’s best for our family-moving to a place where they want me to teach and they want Sunshine to teach, and we can be together in the same school district, with the same calendar, the same snow days, the same spring break and still be in a high-quality school and not move terribly far away from family-it just made sense.”

In eight seasons at the helm of the Trojan football program, McEwen compiled a 53-28 record. He endured a 1-8 record his first season in 1996, improved to 5-4 his second season before establishing a 9-1 mark the following season.

His teams won district championships in four consecutive seasons from 1998 to 2001 and claimed bi-district titles 1999, 2002 and this past fall.

“I don’t think much about wins and losses necessarily, just kids who have played,” McEwen said about the highlights of his tenure. “Those are the things I will never forget.”

He said the thought of leaving his current crop of athletes was the hardest part of his decision to resign.

“I definitely don’t want it to come across that I’ve given up on football or given up on these players who are still a part of it right now,” he said. “That’s in no way true. I think they’re going to be very successful from here on out, with or without me calling the plays.

“I think Hillsboro is one of those programs you can think of as being one that’s going to be competing in the state playoff picture every year. I don’t see any reason why they can’t continue to do that.”

McEwen saluted the team of three assistant coaches that worked alongside him.

“Coach (Dennis) Boldt, Coach (Len) Coryea and Coach (Scott) O’Hare have been together here with me for eight years now, and we have developed strong relationships and friendships. I thought we operated pretty well together.”

McEwen is in his first year as head coach for baseball, but had served as an assistant under Phil Oelke since the program was started in 1998.

At Cheney, McEwen will be an assistant football coach.

“That will definitely be a different experience for me after being at the helm for eight years,” he said.

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