Barlow High has landed its new head football coach, hiring David Kilpatrick-White out of Wilson High.
He began his coaching career while still in high school a serving on the sidelines in the youth leagues of his hometown of Bothell, Wash. After a couple stops in Washington, he has spent the past three seasons rebuilding the program at Wilson. When he interviewed for the job with the Trojans in 2017, the athletic director was able to name a dozen players, who he expected to turn out for the team.
Kilpatrick-White, a social studies teacher at Wilson, hit the hallways recruiting and was able to rally together almost 40 players for his first season.
"Kids got to know me in the classroom, and they appreciated our player-first approach. We let the kids be involved in decisions with uniforms and what our helmet looked like," Kilpatrick-White said. "In my sense, all those guys are my kids."
Wilson is 3-14 over the past two seasons, which have been spent playing in a hybrid 5A league as the program tries to regain its footing.
He takes over for long-time Barlow coach Terry Summerfield, who stepped away at the end of last season's 6A semifinal run (see sidebar).
"I know Terry has built the program the right way — his passion statement is much the same as mine," Kilpatrick-White said.
On the field, the new coach prefers an up-tempo, spread offense with most plays coming out of the shotgun formation with multiple receivers.
"I always tell our staff that the playbook is big for coaches, but much smaller for the kids," Kilpatrick-White said. "We want to find what works for our quarterback and offensive line each season, and we have room to grow from there."
Terry Summerfield steps away from Bruins' sidelines
The timing just seemed right.
Barlow voters passed a bond for a campus renovation, which included a new football stadium, at the same time as a group of rookie teammates came into the program — a collection of players, who Bruins' football coach Terry Summerfield always described as 'a special group.'
"I wanted to see that senior group through, and I wanted to be in the stadium for at least one season," Summerfield said. "Seeing the way it affected our community was special to be a part of."
The Bruins put together a 10-3 record and made a trip to the 6A semifinals last fall.
Summerfield has been heavily involved in USA Football over the past 10 years, leading clinics to guide coaches through teaching safer tackling techniques.
"I've had some great experiences over my career — football is the ultimate team sport," Summerfield said. "We are seeing lower numbers in football, but a lot of things can be done to take head and neck injuries out of football without taking the intensity out of the game."
Summerfield is intrigued by the possibility of taking on an assistant's role for a college program — probably something at the Division III level.
"I have not done that yet, and it's intriguing to me," Summerfield said. "For 28 years, I've been the one calling the shots. I'm looking forward to a new perspective."
Summerfield, a Gresham High graduate and former quarterback at Portland State, spent six seasons as head coach at Central Catholic and the last 22 on the sidelines at Barlow — the longest tenured coach in program history.
In addition, Barlow assistant coach Alex Grandjean has taken the offensive coordinator position at Grant High.
This story is scheduled for our Friday, March 13, print edition.
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