Zilla steps down after 15 years as Black Hills coach

mwochnick@theolympian.comFebruary 5, 2013 

Black Hills High School football coach Jack Zilla announced his resignation Monday after 15 seasons coaching the Wolves.

Zilla said the resignation was the result of a difference in vision “as to how coaching should be organized and accomplished.”

“We have a difference of opinion,” Zilla said. “The high school education and high school athletics is about more than winning and losing. I’ve always been proud of our record and performance and how well our kids play and how hard our kids work. I think it’s time for a change.”

The 50-year-old Zilla, who was hired in 1998, one year after Black Hills High School opened, led the football team to five state playoff appearances — two in Class 2A and three in Class 3A.

The Wolves also earned the South Sound Football Officials Association Sportsmanship award five times, including the 2012 season when the Wolves had a 4-5 record.

Black Hills was Zilla’s first head coaching job after worked as an assistant at Lake Washington, Anacortes and Coupeville high schools.

The 2009 season was one of a long list of favorite memories for Zilla.

The Wolves, led by Cody Peterson at running back, who now plays middle linebacker for Navy, finished second behind W.F. West in the 2A Evergreen Conference and lost to eventual state champion Lynden, 14-7, in the first round of the 2A state playoffs.

Zilla said he plans to continue as strength and conditioning teacher at Black Hills, and is “excited about the future” when it comes to coaching.

He’s optimistic about the high level of talent going through Black Hills over the next few years.

“I expect them to, within the next couple of years, go deep into the playoffs, if not the finals,” Zilla said. “There’s a lot of really good things going on here at Black Hills.”

This is the third South Sound high school football team to have a coaching vacancy this offseason, joining Yelm and Rainier.

Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 mwochnick@theolympian.com theolympian.com/southsoundsports

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