After 30 years in the athletics program, McNary head football coach Jeff Auvinen has resigned from the position. He made the announcement public on a Facebook post on Sunday, June 3, in the McNary football group page.
“It has been an amazing thirty years in the program, and I wouldn’t change a minute of it,” Auvinen wrote in the post. “I want to thank my family, the community, the administration, and most importantly, all of the amazing athletes that have been through the program in those thirty years.”
It turns out Auvinen had been considering the move for a while, thinking about it at the end of each season that last few years.
“The older I got, it kind of happened every year,” Auvinen said. “I wanted to take some time, but I never shook the feeling this year.”
Auvinen mulled the decision over following graduation on a family trip to Hawaii to celebrate his wife and his anniversary and their daughter Ellie graduating from McNary.
McNary Athletic Director Scott Gragg knew that this could happen. He and Auvinen had discussed the possibility in the Spring.
“It wasn’t a surprise because we’ve had ongoing conversations with it,” Gragg said. “But he also held that close to the vest. I don’t know that a lot of people outside of me and some of his close family friends knew what he was contemplating.”
So now, after 30 years of never having an August free, Auvinen finally has a summer vacation.
“I’m sure I’ll miss it tremendously,” Auvinen said. “I’ll always have a sweet spot for McNary football.”
The next step for Gragg is to fill the position. And while there’s no good time to lose a coach, he has enough time to do so on a permanent basis and skip the interim phase.
The job opened up on the district site Tuesday, and Gragg hopes to close it next Monday and begin interviews. He knows there is some internal interest, and Auvinen believes there are numerous guys on the current staff that would do a great job in the head coach role.
Gragg agrees with Auvinen there, feeling the team is in good hands while looking for the next head coach.
Regardless of what the final decision is on a new coach, the sidelines for McNary football will look much different next season.