Inglemoor football coach Frank Naish retires after 34 years
Naish, the longest-tenured coach in the Seattle area, said he wanted to spend more time with his family and pursue activities outside of coaching.
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For the first time in more than 50 years, a Naish won't patrol the sidelines for a Seattle-area high school next season. Inglemoor football coach and athletic director Frank Naish resigned last week after 34 seasons.
His dad, Mickey, was a longtime coach at Bishop Blanchet.
Naish, 63, was the longest-tenured coach in the Seattle area and the winningest KingCo coach of all time. He leaves Inglemoor with a record of 189-137 and was part of all but 46 of the school's wins in football.
"The hardest part is the fear of the unknown," he said. "Because this is all I've ever done in my whole life. And now I have to go out and redefine who I am.
"I could be back in football at some point, but I may not be. I just need to step away and see what life is like without it."
Naish said he contemplated stepping down in January but stayed on for another year. After this season, in which Inglemoor finished 2-7, Naish said he decided to spend more time with his family and focus on life outside of coaching, such as being able to golf or go to UW bowl games.
"You know when coaches resign it's that 'time for family' thing?" Naish said. "That's kind of what it came down to."
After spending five seasons at O'Dea, Naish took over at Inglemoor in 1979 and led the Vikings to the state championship game in 1993.
Naish, who also handled athletic director responsibilities for 18 years, was the state's third-longest tenured active coach behind Tumwater's Sid Otton and Meridian's Bob Ames.
The Vikings started 0-4 this season for the first time in Naish's tenure. Inglemoor is 19-20 the last four seasons.
"I might enjoy August without football or it might make me crazy," said Naish, who will still continue teaching math classes at Inglemoor. "I don't know. I just want to look and see. Inglemoor is a great place. We've had great kids, and it's not like I'm pissed off. It's just looking at different opportunities."
Three sources told the Times that Naish stepped aside after parents became increasingly frustrated and vocal this season. Naish said parents weren't a major reason for his resignation.
"I could see where parents' over-involvement can wear on you," he said, "but I think people that have done it for a long time, our skin is pretty thick or we wouldn't have lasted. It comes and it goes.
"Parents are parents. I've had good parents at Inglemoor. They're not perfect parents, but I've had good parents and good kids. It's a neat school that way."
Naish said he has received more than 100 emails from former players and said he looks back fondly on the fact that four members of his staff — Jeff Skelly, Dave Allemeier, Ray Moody and Sam Merriman — were with him the entire 34 years at Inglemoor.
"Coach Naish was a good coach," Inglemoor senior punter Willie Augustavo said. "He was well-liked by his players, and I think he will be greatly missed out on the football field."
In his resignation letter addressed to Inglemoor principal Vicki Sherwood, Naish wrote, "For me, it is time to look at life without being a head coach and the time requirements of the position. Inglemoor football is in a good place."