Hall of Fame coach at Leopards helm

— In light of losing the head football coach, the program is being left in good hands.

Tim Strother took on an administrative job with Wapato, Athletic Director Rock Winters said.

The School District quickly filled the position in time for the first day of practice, Aug. 16, choosing to hire Washington State Football Coaches Hall of Fame inductee Ron Rood.

Rood coached 31 years at Concrete High School, Winters said.

“He’s retired from education and recently moved to Yakima,” Winters said of Rood, who coached at West Valley Junior High last season.

May 2016 the coach resigned from Concrete. He joined the program in 1985 and the Lions won a 2B state title that year.

“I think he’s an outstanding guy — coach and person,” Winters said.

He said Rood has a great reputation.

“He’s well-known in coaching,” Winters said.

Rood attended Central Washington University, and received honorable mention as National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American guard in 1972. He was a graduate assistant until taking his first high school job.

He became a defensive coordinator at Fife High School. He coached there 10 years before taking the position with the Lions.

At Concrete, Rood led the football program to a 205-110 record. He was inducted into the hall of fame in 2009.

He continued coaching after retiring from teaching in 2013, and after leaving the Lions last year, found himself the job with the Rams.

Rood still wanted to coach.

The Leopards, which made it to the 1A state quarterfinals last season, lost a couple of its more experienced players to graduation — quarterback Trey Delp and receiver Beau Widner. Running back Isaac Vargas, who was credited for being the leading ball carrier in the quarterfinal match-up against Deer Park, returns.

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