Sports

Former Eastlake coach Chandler to lead Redmond football

Jeff Chandler, a Lake Washington graduate and former Eastlake Wolves head coach, has been named the new football coach at Redmond High School by the school
Jeff Chandler, a Lake Washington graduate and former Eastlake Wolves head coach, has been named the new football coach at Redmond High School by the school's athletic department. Chandler led the Wolves to a Kingco title in 2001. He replaces Mike Pluschke, who compiled a 23-32 record in six seasons with the Mustangs.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

The Redmond Athletic Department announced last Friday that Jeff Chandler, a Lake Washington High graduate, has been named the new head football coach at Redmond High School.

Chandler has nearly a decade of high school head coaching experience. He coached six seasons at the helm of the Eastlake Wolves and guided them to a Kingco title in 2001.

He most recently served as the Athletic Director for Skyline High School from 2004-2008, during which the Spartans won two state football championships.

"I am thrilled, honored and humbled to be the head coach for Redmond Football," Chandler said. "When my teams competed against Redmond in the past I always held them in the highest regard. The passion the players had for the game, the support the community gave the team and school and the sense of unity between Redmond, the school and the athletic teams is highly unique."

The 50-year-old was also a three-year letterwinner at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma and played varsity two seasons at Lake Washington High School, where he graduated in 1977.

"He knows the effort, energy and enthusiasm it takes to be successful in the Kingco Conference," said Redmond Athletic Director John Appelgate of Chandler. "RHS is excited for this new chapter in our football program."

Chandler replaces Mike Pluschke, who complied a 23-32 career record in six seasons with the Mustangs.

Jeff Chandler profile

• Age: 50

• Previous coaching experience: 9 years (6 at Eastlake, 3 at Nooksack Valley)

• Previous playing experience: Pacific Lutheran University (1980-83), Spokane Falls Community College (1977-78), Lake Washington High School (1974-1976)

• Personal quotes: "If you truly believe it, you will achieve it." — Frosty Westering; "The harder your work, the more difficult it is to surrender." — Vince Lombardi

• Favorite food: The "See Food" diet

• Favorite song: Most classic rock

• Most memorable coaching moment: "Our comeback victory versus Inglemoor in 2001. The entire game, after being down 21-0 in the first 5 minutes of the first quarter, we went on to win 45-21. What made it memorable is that it was the players that provided the leadership. The turnaround came from the players and their belief in each other."

Q & A with Coach Chandler

Q: Having coached a successful Eastlake program last decade and spending time as Skyline's athletic director, a football powerhouse, what led you back to coaching, and specifically the idea taking over a struggling program?

A: I left Eastlake because I was spent, physically and emotionally. I needed to recharge. I had the idea that I wanted to coach again but I wasn’t sure where or when that would be. I wanted to involve myself in a quality program with a quality head coach in order to learn and grow. I was fortunate that the opportunity to be Skyline's A.D. opened and that I would get a close up view of how Steve Gervais ran his football program. I did learn from him, perhaps the best thing though was the reinforcement of my own philosophy and beliefs about coaching. I hope those lessons I learned will help me in this endeavor.

I am a coach. When I was thirteen I came home and told my mom that I was going to be a P.E. teacher and head football coach. I have so much respect for the men and their families that are involved in high school athletics. I felt the same then as I do now. I feel a call to coach. I hope I am able to serve the students of Redmond High School well.

I am the lucky one. The administration, faculty and kids at Redmond are terrific. This high school is the community’s high school. The town supports its youth so well. The challenge we have as a football staff is to change the attitude and perception about Redmond football. We all have a hand in that. If we truly believe it, we will achieve it."

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