Eager to bring stability to a struggling program that has won three games in the last three years, Eisenhower has hired Will Gaethle as its boys basketball coach.
Gaethle, who owns Clear Choice Insurance Agency on Tieton Drive a few blocks west of the school, brings his coaching resume from Riverside Christian, where he led the Crusaders’ boys program for the last three years.
“I understand the challenges ahead, and I’m excited to build the program back into the powerhouse it once was,” Gaethle said. “There’s some good groundwork to build on, and from here we need to work hard and get everybody to believe in the system and the direction we’re headed.”
Gaethle will be Eisenhower’s fourth boys coach in five years. As recently as 2010, the Cadets won 17 games and had qualified for the Class 4A state tournament the year before. But the transition following Pat Fitterer’s departure in 2010 hasn’t gone well. Brad Schultz took the program for one season, posting a 2-18 record, before joining Fitterer at Ellensburg. Colton Monti followed with two seasons, going 1-19 and 0-20, before taking an administrative job in the Selah School District.
“I’ll meet with the team next week and get ready for some summer tournaments,” said Gaethle, who has also been a high school and college official for over 10 years. “That hard work starts now.”
Gaethle’s Riverside Christian teams were 54-20 over his three years. Last season the Crusaders were 18-5, went unbeaten in league play, won the district title and qualified for the 2B state tournament.
“I hope to bring that momentum along,” he said. “What’s important is playing for the team — playing for the school on the front of the jersey and not the name on the back. It’s an exciting time at Eisenhower with a new gym for next season. It’s a great opportunity to take the program to the next level.”