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Originally published Friday, March 27, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Eastside Catholic football coach Bill Marsh resigns

Veteran coach steps down to pursue other opportunities, spend more time with family.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Bill Marsh is moving on, at least as far as football is concerned.

Marsh announced Thursday he has resigned as football coach at Eastside Catholic High School after 10 seasons.

"There are some other professional goals I have for myself," he said, stressing this was "100 percent" his decision and that he has nothing but positive thoughts about the school. "After basically 15 years of doing this gig, that there are some other professional endeavors I have for myself."

Marsh said he plans to pursue a Master's degree toward school administration or business. As of now, he intends to continue his role as the school's associate athletic director.

The Crusaders were 68-34 under Marsh, 27-7 over the past three seasons that included quarterfinal appearances in 2008 and 2006. They were 10-2 last fall, winning their first Metro League title since 1993 and Marsh was named Metro Mountain Division coach of the year for the fifth time.

"Bill has an enormous role in the Eastside Catholic community and has been a significant figure in the history and success of our football program," school president Jim Kubacki said in prepared statement sent to supporters of the school's football program. "His players think the world of him."

Marsh said his decision was also impacted by his family. He and wife Jeni have three children ages 10, 8 and 6, all involved in various activities.

"I don't want to be a hypocrite to my own family, telling other families to attend their kids' stuff and not attending my kids' stuff and getting involved," he said.

He said it was not an easy decision to step down, but one he is content with.

"I absolutely love this place, I've loved coaching," Marsh said. "It's been a fantastic run, but I've just got some other challenges for myself and some other goals I want to try to achieve and I still feel like I'm young enough to go after those, and if it doesn't work I still have time to potentially get back into the coaching ranks if I feel I want to do that."

Lance Gatter, Eastside Catholic AD, said the search for a new coach will begin immediately.

"We will aggressively seek a coach who will continue to move our program forward successfully while keeping a commitment to teaching the values we espouse at Eastside Catholic," Gatter said in the school's statement.

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Marsh, who came to the school directly out of Washington State, points out the football position is an attractive one on a new campus that opened just last fall and includes a new football field.

"Whoever comes in here is going to be coming into an absolute gold mine in terms of an incredibly supportive community and great facility and a team that's the defending league champion," he said. "It's a fantastic job, no doubt about it."

Girls all-state games Saturday

Many of the state's top senior girls basketball players will take part in the "Queens of the Hardwood" all-state games Saturday at Bellevue Christian.

The 4A stars play the 3A stars at 5 p.m., preceded at 3 p.m. by a game between two 2A/1A/2B/1B teams.

Katie Benson and Emily Guthrie, who led Snohomish to the Class 4A state championship game, headline the 4A squad that also includes Jacqie Evenson from Federal Way. She was the only senior starter on a young team that placed third at state. Federal Way's Danny Graham is coaching the 3A team. Sandy Schneider, who led Lakeside to a fourth-place finish at the 3A state tournament in her final season, is in charge of the 4A squad.

Notably absent from the 4A team is Lindsey Moore, the Gatorade State player of the year who keyed Kentwood's run to the state title. Moore said she wanted to take a break, but plans to play for the Washington team in the Northwest Shootout next month. Teammate Jessie Genger, another senior standout, was unavailable due to a volleyball commitment. Daidra Brown of Kennedy, the 3A state champion, is part of the 3A all-state team that also includes Brittany Gray from Bainbridge and a pair of seniors who helped Franklin claim the fifth-place trophy at state, Carol Howard and Jocelyn Jones.

In the game between the players from smaller schools, Melissa Collier of Seattle Christian (1A champion) will be part of the "state" team that squares off with a "city" squad featuring Alyssa Smith of Archbishop Murphy (2A runner-up).

Tickets are $7 adults, $5 students, with children under 10 free.

Skyline on TV again

The Skyline football team will be back on national television next year.

Skyline, which finished last season ranked fifth in the USA Today Super 25, will host Oaks Christian of California in a September game that will be televised on either ESPN2 or ESPNU.

Oaks Christian, from the ritzy Los Angeles suburb Westlake Village, went 14-0 last season and has a half-dozen Division I prospects. The team has Joe Montana's son, Nick, as its quarterback, and Wayne Gretzky and Will Smith's sons also play on the team.

Skyline, which hosted Bothell last season on ESPN2 in the KingCo 4A championship game, has one of the country's top-ranked quarterbacks in senior-to-be Jake Heaps. Heaps has not lost in 28 games as a starter.

Skyline has also scheduled Jesuit of Portland, a two-time Oregon state champion this decade, in the Emerald City Kickoff Classic at Qwest Field on Sept. 5.

Sandy Ringer: 206-718-1512 or sringer@seattletimes.com; staff reporter Tom Wyrwich contributed to this article.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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