The native Hawaiian hopes to put Gladstone back on the map in boys soccer

Gladstone High School’s new head boys soccer coach brings experience as both a player and a coach to the pitch.

Ryan Hardwick, 34, grew up in Hawaii. He is a 1999 graduate of Radford High School in Honolulu, where he played soccer four years as a defender and baseball four years as an outfielder.

He joined the Air Force after high school and served four years, playing goalkeeper and midfielder on the All-Air Force Team two years. He was goalkeeper for the Pacific All-Military Team in 2003.

He later enrolled at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, where he studied education and computer science, while playing defender and goalkeeper on the school’s first soccer team.

JOHN DENNY - Ryan Hardwick (second from left) talks with players during a recent Wednesday evening open field session at Gladstone. Pictured with Hardwick (left to right) are Austin Carlson, Aaron Hernandez, Andrew Contreras, Max Elmer, Ramon Garcia and Agustin Flores.From 2006 through 2010, Hardwick coached in Hawaii’s Olympic Development Program, was head coach of the 99 Boys Team, and served as state goalkeeper coach for boys and girls at all age levels.

Hardwick moved to Oregon in 2010 and spent four seasons with Clackamas United, coaching U-17 boys, U-11 boys, and U-13 and U-14 girls teams. The past two seasons he’s been with Crossfire Oregon, coaching U-15 and U-16 girls teams.

Hardwick says he is looking forward to the challenge of coaching a high school team.

“I’ve always wanted to coach a high school team because the competition level is higher,” Hardwick says. “It’s more of a top tier level. In club, I was mainly a developmental coach.”

Hardwick has been working with prospective players at Gladstone High School in open field sessions on Wednesday evenings and he says he likes what he’s seen.

“I see a lot of potential, as long as they can take care of business off the field and in the classroom,” Hardwick said. “I think they can do well in conference, and then we’ll see how far they can go after that.”

Hardwick says he hopes to develop Gladstone players and the Gladstone program so that Gladstone is consistently competitive in the postseason, as well as in the Tri-Valley Conference.

He says he plans to work with area youth soccer programs to keep Gladstone kids involved in local programs.

Hardwick plans a youth camp in early August.

Hardwick works in Gladstone. He is a service technician with Covenant Technology Solutions, an IT services company on 82nd Drive.

As of June 18, Hardwick was still in search of an assistant coach.

Hardwick replaces Tyler Lewis, who had coached at Gladstone since 2000. The Gladiators, under Lewis, advanced to the Class 3A state final in 2004, and the Class 4A state final in 2007 and 2008. But they had struggled in recent years, going 18-37-4 over the last four seasons.

The Gladiators had an overall record of 8-7-2 last fall, and they lost to 2014 state finalist Stayton 4-1 in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs They finished third, with a record of 5-4-1, in the six-team Tri-Valley Conference.

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