FOOTBALL: Wayne Harris hired as Head Foodball Coach
January 20, 2013Cleveland High School
Prep football: Cleveland hires former assistant Wayne Harris as coach
Cleveland has hired former assistant Wayne Harris as head football coach. He replaces Gary Sletmoe, who resigned after leading the Warriors to a 4-5 record last season.
Harris has assisted at six different high schools in the past 15 seasons, including two stints under four different coaches at Cleveland. He spent the past two seasons assisting at Oregon City.
Harris, in his 18th year of working with special needs students at Cleveland, was Cleveland’s boys track coach for nine seasons before stepping down in 2010. He also coached in the school’s boys basketball program for 10 years.
“Being here with Wayne for all those years and having him coach all those sports, he just has a great rapport with the staff and kids,” Cleveland athletic director Mike Shanahan said. “He’s gotten a lot of kids out for basketball and track, and now he’s going to have to get a lot of kids out for football.”
Harris assisted in the football programs at Putnam, Madison, Grant, Cleveland, Milwaukie and Oregon City but said he had not applied for any head-coaching positions because he wasn’t ready for it. He is confident that he is ready now, and the opportunity to coach at Cleveland was too good to pass up.
“It’s always been my dream job to coach at Cleveland High School,” said Harris, a former all-state running back at Putnam who played at Portland State in the late 1980s. “I’ve known the kids and the community and the staff, and they’ve always been kind to me and good to me.
“I’m very excited. This is a long time coming. I’m really happy that I’ve had chances to go a lot of places. A lot of men have really impacted my life, and I’ve taken something from each and every one of them.”
Sletmoe coached the team for five seasons, going 11-35 overall and 9-15 in the Class 5A Portland Interscholastic League. Cleveland is 0-5 all-time in state playoff games, its last appearance coming in 2008.
-- Jerry Ulmer