Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

ML alum Bahr chosen new football coach

Application proposal from former player impresses selection committee


February 22, 2018

Paul Delaney

New Medical Lake head football coach Jeremy Bahr can't wait to get started at Holliday Field in the fall.

It might be said that Jeremy Bahr got a late Christmas present - on Valentine's Day.

That's when he learned a long-time wish would be fulfilled when Bahr was selected as the newest person to guide the Medical Lake High School football program. He replaces Mo Owen who resigned the position this past November after two seasons where his teams went a combined 0-18.

But while bursting at the seams with excitement, because school was closed that day due to snow, Bahr could not tell a soul, other than his wife and mother.

"The committee loved the vision and you're hired, but you can't tell anybody," Bahr said.

Bahr, 37, is about as close to a lifelong Medical Lake resident as it gets, attending all 18 years of school there, graduating in 1999 and has been an assistant coach in both football and basketball since 2006.

"There are a lot of challenges ahead, but it's a job I've always coveted," Bahr said. "As a kid growing up, being a fan of watching my older brothers and neighborhood friends compete, going through the program, I always wanted to be a head coach someday."

Medical Lake athletics director Justin Blayne echoed Bahr's excitement noting, "It's a coaching position that is truly a dream-come-true for him." A search committee made up of school personnel and community members interviewed three of 10 applicants for the position.

Bahr put together an extensive proposal that included philosophy on what he would like to do with the high school, middle school and related youth sports programs.

"There were a couple of things within his proposal that the hiring committee did appreciate," Blayne said.

One was his plan for youth football and getting kids excited about the sport at a younger age, Blayne said. That included creating opportunities for younger players with camps and other activities. It also included introducing more consistency down through middle school and youth players,

Bahr joked about there being "a lot of plagiarism" derived from people he's worked with, picking the things he liked from five different head coaches. "I believed in it, my heart was in that packet," Bahr said.

Getting his start under Rick Olson, Bahr credits him for the opportunity to travel the road he has. "I'm definitely thankful he gave me that job."

Bahr worked under Olson until he resigned in 2007 and then followed another ML grad, Aaron Carr, to Davenport.

"Jeremy, I need somebody that I trust, I know I'm going into a small, tight-knit community," Bahr said of Carr, a member of the class of 1998.

Bahr returned to Medical Lake and joined the staff of Wes Hobbs for a few years and earned a great deal of respect from the coach who guided the Cardinals from 2008–2015, including a pair of playoff appearances.

"My dad had a knack to connect with kids, and that mutual respect, and I see that same thing in you," Hobbs told Bahr of Ray Hobbs, who coached 42 years with notable stays at Pullman and Colton.

Bahr was taken back by those kind words, especially in light of the fact of Ray Hobbs' passing on Feb. 9. "Wes, that means the world to me, you know why I coach, it's about building that relationships and that character," Bahr told Hobbs.

Bahr followed grade school friend Jim Mace to Shadle Park from 2014-16, calling it, "One of the best experiences I've ever had as a football coach and seeing a different program."

Bahr, a defensive coach, returned to assist Owen last season and saw the team's points-allowed numbers drop by about a third.

Expect to see some familiar faces return to previous roles such as Matt Rabey who left coaching for a while and is working in real estate.

"He's going to be my right-hand man," Bahr said of the Rabey, a community member and alum who shares the same vision, and will try to turn things around at their alma mater.

Bahr serves as a para-educator in the district and has been married 15 years to wife Leia. The couple has four children.

50 Years of Medical Lake Football Coaches

(1967 to Present) W L T

1967-70 Jerry Conners 27 7 1

1971-76 Bob Jundt 27 27 0

1977-79 Ralph Hilt 6 21 0

1980-03 John Giannandrea 124 104 2

2004-07 Rick Olson 5 29 0

2008-15 Wes Hobbs 25 48 0

2016-17 Mo Owen 0 18 0

Paul Delaney can be reached at


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