Walker needs new football coach
by Adam Carrington
February 24, 2014 04:00 AM | 3784 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Walker football coach John East, who led the Wolverines to their first undefeated regular season and their first state playoff appearance in 2012, accepted an athletic director position last week at a school located out of state.

He didn’t disclose his new location because the school he will be working for has yet to announce his hire.

But he did want to make it public to Walker that he was leaving so the program can start taking action in searching for his replacement.

“It was something that came across to me while I was sitting at home during the snow storm, and it kind of developed from there,” said East who went 15-6 during his two seasons as head coach. “At first, it didn’t seem to go anywhere, but it continued to grow and then it became something I couldn’t turn down.”

The Walker School website just announced that athletics director Gary Blohm and principal Bob Murphy are working with Head of School Jack Hall in initiating a search for a new coach.

Blohm couldn’t be reached Sunday night for comment.

East was brought in two years ago to revamp a program that had enjoyed only two winning seasons since its 2001 inception and immediately took them to uncharted territory. Not only did the Wolverines go undefeated in the 2012 regular season and win a Region 6A title, they also won their first playoff game.

Using word of mouth throughout the school raised Walker’s numbers from 30 players to 53 players in 2012, and having more bodies on the sidelines helped Walker’s defense get off the field on third down. Walker also made good use of skilled running back Evan Kasian, who ended up with 2,080 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns.

But Walker became extremely young on both sides of the ball in 2013 after graduating 19 seniors, including Kasian.

The result was a 4-5 season.

“I’m a builder, not a maintainer,” East said. “(Walker) was great program when I got there and I feel like I’m leaving it a better program than it was when I got there.”

East, who was Whitefield Academy’s athletic director before taking the Walker job, has coached high school football for nearly 40 seasons at New Orleans and at Lovett School before making his stop at Whitefield. He’s also coached basketball, golf, tennis and tennis.

Another project East had at Walker was helping launch its lacrosse program. He worked with both boys and girls JV programs and will serve as the boys head coach this spring as it transitions into the varsity level.

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