COOS BAY — Marshfield stayed in the football family picking a new head coach, officially hiring Josh Line to replace Justin Ainsworth late last week.
Ainsworth, who took the helm in 2009, recently accepted an administration job at a school in Alaska. Line, his best friend and defensive coordinator, maintains continuity in the program, said Marshfield athletic director Greg Mulkey.
The hiring committee interviewed five quality candidates, Mulkey said. Line’s experience at Marshfield and also with the South Coast Youth Football League helped set him apart.
“Josh had a great background,” Mulkey said. “He has proved to be a good coach at Marshfield High School, both in football and basketball.”
He also had the backing of the rest of the coaching staff.
“He’s a great pick because he provides consistency,” said Floyd Montiel. “Josh knows the kids. He knows the program. He’s been involved with South Coast Youth Football. In my opinion, it was a no-brainer.”
Line, who has been out of town, could not be reached for comment.
Line played at Marshfield his senior year under former coach Kent Wigle and formed tight bonds in the community. He returned as a social studies teacher and assistant coach in 2002 after a career at the University of Oregon, where he became a standout fullback.
“He comes with a great deal of football background,” Mulkey said. “He comes with a passion and energy that is also needed and a commitment to our community and our school. All those things in combination is why the committee settled on that he was the right choice.”
Line has been on the football staff for many years and also coached in both the girls and boys basketball programs.
He also has been one of the biggest supporters of the South Coast Youth Football League, a tackle football league for students in third through sixth grade, which is just starting to make an impact at the area high schools now.
“One of the things he said, one of the key things, is, ‘I can tell you almost every name of a kid in South Coast Youth Football because I’ve worked with them,’” Mulkey said. “That’s powerful. Those kids are just getting to us at the high school.”
Marshfield’s varsity team did not win any games last fall, but the freshman and junior varsity teams both had outstanding seasons with the players who were the first kids in the youth league when it started.
Mulkey said Line and Ainsworth also were outstanding leaders through the hard varsity season last fall.
“When you’re not winning, it’s real easy to get down or point fingers and they never did that,” he said. “It showed a great deal of maturity for both of them.”
If Monday’s first workout of the summer is any indication, the players are showing no ill effects from last season, Montiel said.
“We had a great group of kids last year, the wins and losses aside, and they’re all coming back,” he said, adding that about 40 showed up Monday. “We had a great turnout. They’re fired up and they were working their tail off tonight.”
The schedule calls for the team to hold voluntary workouts Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
They can expect 100 percent effort from Line, Montiel said.
“He’s a hard worker, passionate about football, and he’s invested in the community,” Montiel said. “Those are things we have to have around here. We have to have people who want to stay in Coos Bay, and that’s what we’re going to have with Josh.”
Most of the coaching staff also returns, with a few notable exceptions.
Ty Volin got a full-time job with the Coos Bay Police Department. And Tim Wall resigned from his spot on the football staff after many years helping the program.
“What a wonderful gentleman,” Mulkey said of Wall. “The effort he has put into the program is wonderful.”