Chris Schumacher, who guided the Elma High School girls to a district championship last fall, has been hired as Grays Harbor College’s women’s soccer coach.
The 49-year-old Schumacher accepted the position Friday, GHC athletic director Tyler Gaston announced. The Chokers are offering a full-fledged NWAACC women’s soccer program for the first time beginning this summer.
A Tacoma native who owns Schumacher Electrict and co-owns ShuJacks Bar &Grill in Elma, Schumacher has coached the Elma girls for the past six years.
“I’m excited about him,” Gaston said. “In interviews with him and his references, the word communication came up a lot. He deals with players and issues in a very level-headed, very even-keeled (fashion). And, obviously, his passion for the sport and to see it grow was appealing.”
Schumacher said the decision to leave a burgeoning Elma program was difficult.
“I like challenges. This presents me with a new challenge and that sort of appealed to me,” he said. “If I didn’t take it, I’d always wonder what would have happened if I didn’t take it. It’s a good college and there’s a lot of support for the program.”
Schumacher said he will move quickly in his recruiting efforts, but still anticipates some growing pains. He expects to rely heavily on Grays Harbor talent during the first year on the job.
“We are a little late in the recruiting game, so that’s a little bit of a disadvantage,” he noted. “I feel, with the local talent, this is a good opportunity for local kids to go to college who hadn’t even thought about college in the past.”
His Elma team won the Evergreen 1A League title in 2012 and the school’s first district 1A championship since the late 1990s last fall.
The Chokers hope to institute “open field” programs three days per week in February. Further information may be obtained by contacting Schumacher at 470-1608 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Schumacher stressed his appreciation to Elma school officials, players and parents.
“I really enjoyed my years (at the high school), they gave me the chance to coach,” he concluded. “I appreciate everything Elma has done and I’ll still be in contact with people around there.”