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Messages - Bearcat Press

In other news about former Willamette coaches, Dan Hawkins has stepped down at UC Davis. As I'm sure many on this board remember, Coach Hawkins went 40-11-1 in five seasons at WU (1993-97), with conference titles in 1995, 1996, and 1997. The 1997 team--Willamette's best ever--finished the season 13-1 with a 14-7 loss to Findlay in the NAIA national championship game.
Not sure if he'll still be coaching Oregon State in their bowl game now that the Beavers have promoted Trent Bray to be their new head coach, but Willamette alum Kefense Hynson was named OSU's interim head coach last Saturday:

QuoteOregon State receivers coach Kefense Hynson was named as the program's interim head coach Saturday after coach Jonathan Smith left for Michigan State.

Hynson, the Beavers' receivers coach for each of Smith's six years at OSU, has never been a head coach. He'll coach the Beavers in their bowl game, to be announced Sunday, Dec. 3.

Hynson played college football at Willamette, where he was a three-time all-Northwest Conference defensive back. Hynson has coaching stops at Willamette (2003), Boise State (2004), Minnesota-Mankato (2005), Western Washington (2006-08), Yale (2009-11), Montana (2012-14), Norfolk State (2015) and Hawaii (2016-17).
West Region / Re: BB: NWC: Northwest Conference
October 18, 2023, 07:36:31 PM
Quote from: Bearcat Press on August 14, 2023, 02:36:52 PM
Big news at Willamette: head coach Aaron Swick is stepping down to take over at Wooster after 15 years, 316 wins, and a Northwest Conference title in 2018.

And the Bearcats have their new coach: Mike Coduta, most recently associate head coach at Earlham College.
Quote from: wildcat11 on October 15, 2023, 03:17:41 PM

8. Willamette - They're really bad.

And this is the reason why I don't post that much anymore.  I still lurk around and comment when there's something to comment about, but it just isn't fun to banter when your team isn't even close to being competitive.  I mean, Saturday's game against PLU was probably the most embarrassed I've ever been as a Willamette fan.  Not just because of the blowout loss--I've seen plenty of those--but because of the way they lost: eight turnovers, eleven penalties, three guys getting ejected ... the wheels have fully come off of the wagon, and quite frankly, this season (and era) can't end soon enough.

On a more hopeful note, Willamette officially posted the "Head Football Coach" position on its job website today.  I have no insider info at all, but two "in the family" guys I hope at least get an interview are Speckman-era alums Lukkes Gilgan (Pacific DC) and Danny Mitchell (UAB offensive analyst).  Truly though, at this point, I really just want to see the University commit to building and supporting a consistently competitive program that can challenge for a conference title every once in a while.  It's been done before, it can be done again, and it is much, much more fun than whatever the last decade has been.

(I would also beg the new coach, whoever he might be, to please get rid of the ridiculous white helmets and go back to the red or gold that we've always worn.)
Salem sports journalist and broadcaster Mark Gilman has written a short piece on the coaching change at Willamette, with one new bit of information:

QuoteThe Bearcats were celebrating their opening game victory on September 2nd over LaVerne (California) by a 24-21 score.  Parker was informed of his dismissal on Labor Day, upon his return from California.

Quote from: The Third Division on September 11, 2023, 10:01:38 AM
Quote from: catjumper on September 08, 2023, 05:24:17 PM
Quote from: catjumper on September 08, 2023, 02:19:11 PM
Tipped off by a friend that there may have been a coaching change at Willamette; indeed, on the WU website Tim Rude is now listed as interim head coach and Isaac Parker is not on there:

Anyone (Bearcat Press, maybe?) know when the change was made and why?

A little more information:

paywall - anyone got a tldr?


I have absolutely no idea what's going on. Here's the (short) article from Pete Martini at the Statesman Journal:

Isaac Parker is no longer head football coach at Willamette University, the school confirmed Friday. But they would not specify the nature of his departure.

"Tim Rude has replaced Isaac Parker as head football coach at Willamette as coach Parker is no longer employed by the University," said Colleen Kawahara, vice president for communications at Willamette. "At present, our focus is on ensuring continuity and support for our student-athletes to ensure the transition to coach Rude is as seamless as possible."

Parker, a Willamette graduate, was hired by the Bearcats in December 2018.

In his first season as head coach in 2019, Willamette went 2-8.

The 2020 season was canceled because of the pandemic, and the Bearcats went 1-9 in 2021, and 2-8 last season.

The Bearcats are 1-0 this season after beating La Verne 24-21 on Sept. 2.

Rude is also the recruiting coordinator, special teams coordinator, defensive passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach.
Quote from: D O.C. on August 21, 2023, 10:20:12 PM
QuoteCan't find any info about whitworth football from '07-'09.
Uh, if I remember right they won the conferenced 2 of those years by squeaking past LINFIELD

Whitworth won the NWC in 2006 and 2007, then finished third in 2008 (behind Willamette and Linfield) and 2009 (behind Linfield and Willamette).
Quote from: The Third Division on August 20, 2023, 02:38:44 PM
It all makes me wonder. If Wilamette has the worst win-loss record versus the other teams in the past 8 years, how did they pull off a victory over linfield in 2014? Mind you, that was a team that made it to the semifinals where they lost by a one possession margin vs whitewater who won it all!

Because Willamette only really fell off the cliff in 2015. It's been a miserable eight years, but for a full decade prior to that, the Bearcats were consistently the second or third best team in the NWC every season. They went 50-20 from 2008-14. They finished the 2008 season 11-1 and ranked fourth in the country. They beat Linfield in back to back seasons in 2007 and 2008. In 2014, they had a Gagliardi Trophy finalist at running back.
West Region / Re: BB: NWC: Northwest Conference
August 14, 2023, 04:49:46 PM
Quote from: Ralph Turner on August 14, 2023, 03:53:24 PM
Quote from: Bearcat Press on August 14, 2023, 02:36:52 PM
Big news at Willamette: head coach Aaron Swick is stepping down to take over at Wooster after 17 years, 316 wins, and a Northwest Conference title in 2018.
Does Coach Swick have ties to Wooster?

None that I'm aware of.  He's a UC-Berkeley alum, and his first job was as Willamette's pitching coach back in 2006 and 2007. Then he was the pitching coach at South Dakota State for a year before coming back to Salem as WU's head coach.
West Region / Re: BB: NWC: Northwest Conference
August 14, 2023, 02:36:52 PM
Big news at Willamette: head coach Aaron Swick is stepping down to take over at Wooster after 15 years, 316 wins, and a Northwest Conference title in 2018.
I'm not really a fan of Willamette's recent trend of scheduling conference opponents as non-conference games, and I miss the semi-annual visits from MIAC, WIAC, and ASC programs that we used to get. But it looks like Willamette, L&C, Pacific, and George Fox have all agreed to schedule non-conference games against each other through 2026:

(I will admit that the idea of making it a mini tournament is kind of fun.)
Willamette's full 2023 schedule is out:

Non-conference games at La Verne, at Lewis & Clark, and at Southern Oregon to begin the season, then a bye and the NWC opener at Linfield.

Region 3 men's basketball / Re: Liberty League
May 26, 2023, 06:36:21 PM
Quote from: stlawus on May 25, 2023, 10:02:45 PM
Bard was a lot more competitive with him.  Even with their record they were never an easy out, every team regardless of standings had to bring their A game because they could punish you.  For most years that was not the case with Bard. They shot a lot of threes under Linehan and were a lot more uptempo than previous Bard teams.   He seemed to get a lot out of his players who also seemed to enjoy playing for him.

That's great to hear. Thanks!
Region 3 men's basketball / Re: Liberty League
May 25, 2023, 08:31:58 PM
Quote from: Caz Bombers on May 23, 2023, 01:07:56 PM
Bard head coach Mike Lenahan to Willamette of the NWC.

Hi everyone; Willamette alum here.  We don't see teams from the Liberty League very often out in Oregon, so I was wondering if any of the folks on this board could give me some insight on what we're getting in Coach Lenahan.  I see his record at Bard was only 15-35, but I also see that the team was 0-24 the year before he arrived.  How would you all assess the rebuilding job he did?  (For context, we haven't had a winning season in 15 years ourselves, so he's in for a big rebuild here too.)
Quote from: Bearcat Press on April 22, 2023, 12:14:00 PM
Change (finally) in Salem, with Kip Ioane out after 14 years and a record of 85-243 overall, 49-163 in the NWC. Willamette hasn't issued a statement, but it looks like Kip tweeted about it last week:

Longtime local sportscaster Mark Gilman also has a brief writeup about it on his Substack:

I have never bought the excuse that Willamette's academic standards mean we can't field a competitive men's basketball team--especially when Whitman, UPS, and Lewis & Clark manage to do just that every year. I don't think anybody expects the Bearcats to compete for national titles the way we did in the 90s, but there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to have a team that consistently finishes in the top half of the NWC.

And 30 days later, Willamette announces Bard head coach Michael Lenahan as the new hire:

Before spending the last two years at Bard, Coach Lenahan was a Bridgeland assistant at both Whitman and Redlands, sandwiched around a stint at UC-Irvine.  Here's hoping he can get Bearcat Hoop back on track!