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Sammamish tabs new football coach in former Bellevue assistant | Prep football news
Sammamish has a new head football coach headed into the 2014 season, and it is one with plenty of experience in Bellevue and the KingCo conference.
Todd Craig, most recently the head junior varsity football coach at Bellevue High School and longtime coach in Oregon, takes over for Brian Tucci.
The Totems have struggled in recent seasons, and not made the postseason since the 3A title game appearance in 1999. But a win over rival Interlake, the first since 2006, was a major point of pride for the program last year and could be a springboard for Craig in his first season at the helm.
While installing an offensive and defensive philosophy will be critical to Sammamish's ultimate success under Craig, he said the first task is simply building numbers in the program.
"We've had good turnout in the weight room so far," he said. "We want to build those numbers as much as we can."
The junior varsity at Bellevue had a perfect record under Craig's tenure, and Sammamish athletic director Pat McCarthy said bringing a proven winner to Sammamish was a positive for the program's future.
"His passion for the game and desire to teach others how to play and draw life lessons from the game are rarely matched," McCarthy said in a press release. "He is very excited to begin implementing his style of coaching and commitment to excellence here at Sammamish."
Leo Holland, a junior fullback and linebacker, said it is already evident how deep the investment is for his new head coach.
"He is in here with us while we are lifting every day," Holland said. "I'm excited to see where he can take us."
The fall season begins a new WIAA two-year classification cycle, with Sammamish still part of Class 2A, and battling with only Liberty for postseason positioning.
If the Totems are able to post a better regular season record than the Patriots, they will have the chance to earn the district's only 2A playoff spot.