Winslow High School has a new head football coach in Matthew Gracey, who replaced Mike Olson and is now operating the weight room at the high school and preparing or the 2000 season. Olson resigned his position to take a similar one in Tillamook, Oregon.
Gracey came to Winslow from Lamar, Colorado, where he served as the defensive coordinator. He is eagerly awaiting his first experience as a head varsity coach with the WHS Bulldogs. He is a 1996 graduate of Adams State University and also has experience as a defensive coordinator at Sanford, Colorado. He is married. He and his wife Sarah have an eight-month-old daughter Shelley and are expecting their second child in December.
During his collegiate career, Gracey started 44 football games and played all five lineman positions. He was an outstanding lineman in high school at Tehachapi, California, where his school participated in sectional title games all four years he played. (Winning a sectional game in California is the equivalent of winning a state championship in Arizona.) After graduation, he attended Victor Valley (California) Junior College for two years before moving on to Adams State.
Gracey will teach an advanced weightlifting class at Winslow High School and will be an assistant track coach. He has been certified by United States Weightlifting, an organization which provides coaches for the United States Olympic team. He is currently working toward his senior level certification. Gracey believes weight training will be a major ingredient in the long range success of his football program. "You won't see dramatic improvement in the few months before football season," he said, "But in a year or two you will." He added that in two or three years the benefits would really become evident in stronger players who have fewer injuries.
He said that he is grateful to have a head coaching opportunity this early in his career. (He is 26.)
"Winslow High School has some fine looking athletes and I'm looking forward to working with them," Gracey said. He said that he was impressed by what he saw on film from athletes like A.C. Carter, Robert Padilla, David Manthei, Dub Ward, Mike Martinez and a host of good, young linemen.
Saying that he believes stability is a major factor in most successful football programs at any level, Gracey said that he hopes to become a fixture at Winslow High School. He also said that he intends to encourage his players to participate in other sports such as wrestling or basketball, baseball or track and to work hard for success in the classroom. He said that if you can't make the grade in the classroom, you can't do it on the football field either.