Sports

FOOTBALL: Beamer hires ex-Gig Harbor coach Darren McKay after Sundheim resigns

The revolving coaching door inside the Todd Beamer High School football program continued last week when head coach David Sundheim unexpectedly resigned less than two months before the Titans' season kicks off.

Sundheim, who is from Virginia, has accepted an assistant coaching position and a social studies teaching job at Pinecrest High School in Pinehurst, N.C. He will join his father, Pete, as an assistant coach at Pinecrest.

"I have the opportunity to come through for my family back on the East Coast, as we are dealing with some family-related issues," Sundheim said Friday. "I will also have the opportunity to coach with my father, which has been a lifelong dream for both of us."

Sundheim spent three years at the helm of the Titans' program and guided Beamer to a 10-20 overall record. He was also the coach that took the Titans to the postseason for the first, and only, time in school history back in 2010.

But the coaching search didn't last too long. Beamer filled the vacancy at the top of the football program in less than a week's time Wednesday, choosing ex-Gig Harbor High School head man Darren McKay. He will be the fifth head coach of the Titans in the last eight seasons.

"I met with the team (Friday) and we are exploring all options," Beamer Athletic Director Jerry Peterson said last week. "We want to get somebody in here as soon as possible. We are confident we will get a good leader."

Peterson didn't have to look too hard or long to find McKay, who was the biggest name out there without a coaching gig for the fall.

Peterson called McKay the day after Sundheim turned in his resignation and asked him if he would be interested in the opening and things proceeded quickly from there.

McKay visited the Beamer campus on Monday, had a formal job interview Wednesday and accepted Peterson's offer Wednesday evening.

McKay had spent the last 12 seasons at Gig Harbor before his contract was not renewed following the 2012 year after he fought the Peninsula School District’s decision to place him on an improvement plan last winter. McKay considered the plan unfair and unnecessary, according to published reports.

During his 12 seasons at Gig Harbor, McKay compiled a record of 77-41 and led the Tides into the state playoffs in 2005 and 2006. Gig Harbor lost in the first round both years.

Beamer finished 2-8 last season after advancing to the playoffs in 2010 with a 4-6 record. The Titans lost to Skyview in the opening round, 42-33.

"This is strictly a family move, and is no way indicative of the Beamer family," Sundheim said. "I love the Beamer family and my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone associated with the school and community."

Sundheim came to Beamer after spending three years as the offensive coordinator at Bethel. He played wide receiver at Liberty University in Virginia and spent four years on the East Coast as a high school assistant before making the move to Bethel.

Sundheim was hired after a two-year stint at Beamer by Gem Abe, who finished 2-18 during his tenure. Abe took over before the 2007 season after Hall of Fame coach Dick Zatkovich unexpectedly resigned to deal with some family health issues after one season at the helm.

In Sundheim's first year at Beamer, the Titans snapped a 20-game losing streak with a 13-7 win over Auburn Riverside. The losing streak was the longest in the South Puget Sound League.

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