The new school year has brought in new students as the athletic department has brought in new coaches. There are a total of 12 new head coaches including eight new football position coaches.
“The athletic department went through a nationwide search to hire new coaches,” Athletic Director, Ken Schuman said. “We looked for coaches who would best make our programs successful and provide our student athletes with an exceptional experience and a successful team with a top-notch coach would help meet that goal.”
After a season as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Liz Yandall was named Pacific’s head softball coach. In addition to the new hire, the softball program also expanded to implement a junior varsity program.
“I have a great assistant coach who has made the transition really easy on me,” Yandall said. “My goals for the season are to remain competitive, to establish a championship culture, and to not feel any sort of entitlement from finishing at a high place last year.”
Pacific’s football program is seeing some familiar faces from last year. There are 8 positions coaches who are graduates from last year. Coaches include safety coach Bryan Mills; defensive line coach Michael Smith, tight-end coach Brian Taylor; defensive line coach, quarterback coach P.J. Minaya; offensive line coach Eric Gietzen; Kicker coach Aaron Koford, defensive assistant Sean Bangs; and linebacker assistant Gabe Flory.
“I wanted to give these coaches a chance,” said head football coach Keith Buckley. “I finished playing and immediately started coaching at my alma mater.”
He said these coaches specifically have been a big part of the building of the program and the players respond well to their coaching.
Buckley said their goal every year is be better than we were the previous year and to not focus on wins and losses but rather focus on how they can better themselves.
Pacific’s new baseball coach Brian Billings arrives from Puget Sounds where he coached for 12 seasons and had 201 wins.
“I really appreciate the opportunities and resources Pacific provides the coaching staff with,” Billings said. “A major motive for moving here is for my 4-year-old son. My wife and I are a lot more excited about the school system here compared to the Tacoma area.”
Ericksen comes to Forest Grove with successful coaching at the Division I, Division II, Division III, NAIA, and Olympic levels.
Men’s soccer coach Eric Mild brings nearly two decades of coaching experience at the Division I and Division II levels to Forest Grove.
“In addition to my desire to be a head coach, I came to Pacific because I wanted to live someplace that was great to raise my two children,” Mild said.
He said his goal for this year is to improve everyday, finish in the top half of the conference, and hopefully have a winning record by the end of the season.