BY EVAN THOMPSON, Online Editor
Central Washington University ended its two-month search for head football coach by hiring Ian Shoemaker, Athletic Director Dennis Francois announced on Thursday.
Shoemaker will officially begin his position as head coach on Jan. 2, after being selected from a field of 55 applicants and four finalists.
Shoemaker, who will succeed interim head coach John Picha, spent six seasons as the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. While breaking single-season school records under Shoemakers no-huddle, multiple-formation teams, the Huskies appeared in the Division II national playoffs three of the last four seasons.
John Graham, a former Central player and current associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Eastern Washington, and Chris Tormey, former head coach at the University of Idaho and the University of Nevada, Reno, were two of the finalists, while Skyline High School head coach Mat Taylor withdrew from the application process earlier in the week.
Shoemaker joins a Wildcats team that has won seven Great Northwest Athletic Conference titles out of 11 football-playing seasons in the conference.
Central hasn’t advanced to the Division II playoffs since ex-head coach Blaine Bennett led the Wildcats to the quarterfinals and a 12-1 record in 2009.