POULSBO — A dose of “perfect timing” has led North Kitsap educator Bill Hobaugh back out into the Vikings’ athletic field.
After more than a decade hiatus, Hobaugh will be returning to the scene as head coach on the NK fastpitch diamond — replacing Dan Kolda, who resigned last spring.
Early in his career at NKHS, Hobaugh was head coach of the softball team when it was still slowpitch. He also helped coach basketball and soccer for the Vikings during the 1980s and 1990s and now the self-professed sports nut is at it again.
“When I first came here, I coached for 11 years, then I had to make a decision: Am I going to coach or am I going to watch my kids play?” Hobaugh said of an all-too-familiar conundrum for a coach.
Now his kids have moved onto the college ranks, and “this is the perfect time for me to get back into (coaching),” he said.
Heading into the 2007 NK fastpitch season, Hobaugh may be getting back into the swing of things with the perfect team. For the past two years, the Vikings have earned a spot and come up with a seventh place finish at the state tournament.
This year, the aim is no different, though the Vikings will be wearing new uniforms.
“They kind of see this as the last year, they just want to go all out, go to state,” Hobaugh said of the team’s early season unofficial goal for 2007.
It all begins at the first day of practice Monday, and Hobaugh said he already has his strategies in mind.
“I stress fundamentals, and I stress the mental part of the game,” he said. “I’m a firm believer in conditioning, if you can get through something that you don’t want to do, that’s one of biggest lessons you can learn in life.”
For Hobaugh, sports have been all about that lifetime education.
At West Bremerton High School, Hobaugh was a four-sport athlete — playing baseball, basketball, football and soccer. He got his first taste of coaching as a junior when he helped coach a kids rec league soccer team.
Ever since, he’s had an affinity for the sideline and dugouts.
“You stay in the game, that’s the big thing,” Hobaugh said of coaching. “Sports are so powerful, they can help a kid grow and mature. You learn so many lessons in sports.”
Following high school, Hobaugh went on to learn many lessons through sport as he graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a masters in athletic administration and coaching.
His first education position let him to Bremerton Christian High School — now Kings West — and onto North Kitsap where he has been teaching math for the past 27 years.
When he first came to Poulsbo in 1980, Hobaugh coached football and soccer and was also an assistant coach of Viking basketball under the legendary Jim Harney.
“Jim Harney taught me so much, he actually taught me to be a better teacher,” Hobaugh said. “I use all of the skills he taught me coaching in the classroom.”
Now, Hobaugh’s strategies will be back in the North Kitsap field beginning with fastpitch preseason practice Feb. 23. The Vikings first game will be a double-header with Bainbridge March 12.