By JOHN McCALLUM
Managing Editor 

Hisaw named Washington track and field coach of the year

 

August 8, 2019

Walla Walla Public Schools

Cheney High School alum and current Walla Walla High School coach Eric Hisaw has been named the Boys High School Coach of the Year for Washington by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Cheney High School alum and current Walla Walla High School track and field head coach Eric Hisaw has been named the Boys High School Coach of the Year for Washington by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, according to a July 23 news release from Walla Walla Public Schools.

Hisaw guided the Blue Devil boys to the 4A state title this season, the third time the program has won the state title but first since the 1952-1953 season, according to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

"This honor is based upon the performance of the Walla Walla High School team throughout the 2019 season and is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of the student athletes, coaching staff and administration of the school," U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association CEO Sam Seemes said in the release.

Like most head coaches, Hisaw deflected any praise from himself to his student-athletes and coaches.

"I'm really humbled and feel so honored by this award," he said in the release. "It is a truly fantastic celebration of our entire program and what our boys' team accomplished this year."

Besides the team title, Hisaw's Blue Devils also produced two individual state titles: Jared McAlvey, with a new school record of 37.43 seconds, captured the 300-meter hurdles and Patrick Utchinski set a new Walla Walla record of 180 feet, 1 inch to win the discus title.


The Blue Devils went undefeated against 4A opponents in the Mid-Columbia Conference schedule - their only league loss coming against 3A Kamiakin. Walla Walla also won several major invitationals during the season, including the Pasco Invitational, Eastmont Invitational, Centennial Invitational (Oregon) and their own Blue Devils Invitational, as well as the Mid-Columbia Conference championship meet.

According to news sources, Hisaw has been a physical education teacher at Walla Walla since 1997. He has served as boys and girls track and field head coach and was head coach of the Blue Devils football team for eight seasons before stepping down in 2018 to spend more time with his family. In an email, his mother Joan Hisaw said he and his wife Amy have one son who is the No. 2 runner on the Blue Devils cross country team with another son set to begin running this year as a freshman.

"Our car can drive itself back and forth to WW with no driver after all our trips all year long following Eric and the boys," Joan Hisaw said.

Eric Hisaw was a 1991 graduate of Cheney High School. A standout quarterback who earned a full-ride scholarship to play at the University of Idaho, he was also a 2A state champion in the 110 and 300-meter hurdles in 1991, and still holds the Blackhawks record in both events.


Hisaw started at quarterback for the Vandals in 1994 and 1995, winning All-Big Sky honors his final season. He was also on the UI track and field team and was the 1996 Big Sky 55-meter indoor hurdle champion.

Hisaw added that the hard work, communication and commitment to each other of his student-athletes and coaches are the reasons winning the award was possible.

"It's a celebration of what our kids have done and the history they've created this season," he said. "I'm so blessed to work with the best kids and staff a head coach could ever be around."

John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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