Former Black Hills football coach Jack Zilla joins River Ridge staff

mwochnick@theolympian.comApril 16, 2014 

Black Hills head coach Jack Zilla, here directing senior quarterback Miles Smiley, returns for his 15th season with the Wolves. He is shown during football practice at Black Hills High School in Tumwater on Friday, Aug. 17, 2012. (TONY OVERMAN/Staff photographer)

TONY OVERMAN — The Olympian Buy Photo

Jack Zilla is back coaching football at a Class 2A school.

Not as a head coach – where Zilla spent 15 seasons at Black Hills from 1998 to 2012 -- but as an assistant. Zilla will join head coach Steve Schultz’s staff at River Ridge High School, where he’ll be the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, he said Tuesday. He spent the 2013 season as Rochester’s running backs coach.

“I’m pleased to go there and join (Steve’s) staff,” Zilla said. “It’s a great opportunity to go to a local school and coach at River Ridge with great coaches and great kids. I’m excited about it.”

When asked about his offense, Zilla was quick on his answer: run the ball.

“Whatever formation you’re in,” Zilla said, “you have to run the ball. The Seahawks won the Super Bowl because they could run the ball.”

Zilla’s Black Hills teams were known to run a shotgun offense. During his tenure, he led the Wolves to five playoff appearances, including 2009 when then-running back Cody Peterson ran for a school-record 2,138 yards as a senior.

Last season, River Ridge went 4-5 overall and 1-4 in the 2A Evergreen Conference. The Hawks join a new league – the 2A South Puget Sound League – starting this fall.

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