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Tuesday, October 12, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

Sideline Smitty / Craig Smith
Punting into this storm sent averages plummeting

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Q: My father has told me about a punt that flew backwards during a game played in the Columbus Day storm of 1962. Tell me about that Friday night.

A: It was wild.

Former Seattle Times reporter Don Duncan called it "the most savage storm in the recorded history of the West Coast" in his 1989 book, "Washington, The First 100 Years."

One gust hit 100 mph in Renton and there was a 160 mph gust at the Naselle radar site in Pacific County.

A total of 53,000 homes were damaged on the West Coast and 46 people died, including seven in Washington.

Your father probably is referring to the punt of Tom White of now-defunct Shoreline High School. The ball was on the Shoreline 27 when White punted into the wind at Edmonds Stadium. The ball flew up to the 35-yard line then got blown back to him. He caught it at the 20 and was tackled by an Edmonds player at the 17 for a loss of 10 yards.

White also punted "with" the wind and had a punt sail 61 yards.

The game — and many others that night around the Sound — was called at halftime and resumed on Monday. Shoreline won 13-12.

All kinds of strange stuff happened.

Bellevue and MI were about to kick off and the lights went out.
Bothell was trailing Mount Si at Snoqualmie and the lights went out. The game was continued Monday at Bothell and the Cougars, suddenly with the home-field advantage, came from behind to win 13-7.

The storm smashed into Oregon and sections of the roof at Multnomah Stadium in Portland blew off on the eve of the Washington-Oregon State game. The game went off as scheduled on Saturday, and the Huskies beat the Beavers and future Hesiman Trophy winner Terry Baker 14-13.

The storm extended far down the California coast and the World Series between the Yankees and San Francisco was delayed three days.

Q: The Washington Music Educators Association and WIAA co-sponsor solo and ensemble contests every year for singers and musicians. Since the start of the year 2000, which schools have had the most top-three placements?

A: Here are the schools with at least a dozen top-three finishers in competition from 2000-2004, according to Bruce Caldwell, executive manager of the WMEA: Inglemoor 32, Garfield 28, Auburn 23, Rogers-Puyallup 22, Port Angeles 21, Evergreen-Vancouver 18, Wenatchee 18, Issaquah 17, Puyallup 17, Sehome 15, Richland 14, Capital 12, Mountain View-Vancouver 12, Newport 12, Olympia 12, Roosevelt 12.

Q: Is it harder these days for a high-school coach to get into college coaching than it used to be?

A: It sure is.

We talked to Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, and he said that the main route for getting into college coaching now is to become a graduate assistant then hope to land a job.

Teaff said one of his first staffs at Baylor University 30 years ago had five former high-school coaches. He said such numbers are unheard of today.

Teaff said another new trend is coaches bouncing between the NFL and major-college staffs.

"You never used to have a pro coach coming back to the college level," he said.

One young high-school coach who took the graduate-assistant route to a college job is former Garfield head coach Luther Carr. He resigned his Garfield post in 2002, served as a Huskies grad assistant for a year, then was hired as wide receivers coach at Montana.

Teaff said it's tough financially on a high-school coach to go the GA route if the coach has a family to support. In addition to the countless hours of football duties, the GA also has to take graduate courses. However, those credits help earn a master's degree, which is almost essential at NCAA Division II and Division III and NAIA because small-college coaches often have to teach as well as coach.

Leon Burtnett, the Washington State linebacker coach whose first jobs were at Kansas high schools, noted that there are fewer Division I jobs than there used to be because of NCAA staff-size restrictions.

Burtnett, 61, is a wise old man in football circles and his credentials include being head coach at Purdue and offensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts. He said, "You used to go to the coaches' convention and guys would stay up all night talking football. Now, everybody is there trying to promote themselves."

Have a question about high-school sports? Craig Smith will find the answer every Tuesday in The Times. Ask your question in one of the following ways: Voice mail (206-464-8279), snail mail (Craig Smith, Seattle Times Sports, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111), or e-mail

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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