Mace to take over LHS football team

By Observer Upload August 13, 2012 12:29 pm

A familiar face will be in charge of the La Grande High School football team this fall.

With the sudden resignation of Dave Collinsworth last week, LHS administrators hired former assistant coach Kenny Mace to head the team.

“I’m excited,” Mace said. 

“This is something I’ve been working towards. I didn’t think it’d happen this soon, but the situation came up.”

Mace has been a LHS assistant for the past six seasons.

He started out coaching the offensive and defensive lines, then ran the special teams before moving on to coordinating the offense. 

Last year under Collinsworth, Mace had his first shot as a defensive
coordinator.

“I’ve been an assitant for a while. But each year my responsibilities grew,” Mace said.

That versatility, along with the fact that all of last year’s assitant’s are returning, should make the transition to a new head coach a little smoother for the players.

“This will be the third head coach in the last three years. I can’t imagine going through that as a player,” Mace said.

“But I’m fortunate to have the same staff. I think we need to make sure there are familiar faces around for the kids.”

With practices scheduled to begin Aug. 20 and the season right around the corner, Mace doesn’t plan on changing too much within the schemes.

“I think due to the situation we’re in, we want to keep as much as we can the same.

“We need to play to our strengths. We’re going to have a big emphasis on the special teams,” Mace said.

Mace grew up in White Salmon, Wash., before playing a couple of seasons at Feather River College in California.

He earned a scholarship to play at Eastern Oregon University, where he played a season under former head coach Ian Shields.

Now he will roam the sidelines of Community Stadium as a head coach.

Mace said he will address the team for the first time today and get things rolling.

After a 3-6 record a year ago, Mace said that he has high hopes for his first year in charge.

“Dave had high expectations, and I think they need to stay there.

“This is an interim job, but it’s something that I want to keep doing. I don’t have four years to build a program. We need results this year,” Mace said.

He will have his first chance to earn win No. 1 Aug. 31 when the Tigers host Nyssa at Community Stadium.