By Pat Jenkins
Gavin Kralik, promising to carry on the "rich and proud tradition" of football at Eatonville High School, has been named the Cruisers' new head coach.
He replaces George Fairhart, who is leaving to become the coach at Gig Harbor High.
Kralik has been a high school head coach for 15 years, most recently at South Kitsap. Before that, he was at Bethel from 2001 to 2013 and Bay Area Christian in Leasgue City, Texas.
“This was the chance of a lifetime for a small community like ours to get a coach with his experience,” said Eatonville principal John Paul Colgan. "We think Gavin has all the right qualities as a coach and the right values that will benefit our student-athletes. He builds kids for life, not just football. He’s a high-energy, high-impact person.”
Kralik said he is "excited to be part of a school district that is doing so many great things educationally to prepare students to be successful in a variety of ways after they graduate from high school."
In addition to coaching at Eatonville, he will teach physical education and
also help in the special-education program. He has a college degree in special education.
Kralik, a dean of students at South Kitsap, will finish the school year there before beginning his Eatonville duties. He and his family live in Port Orchard.
Colgan said Kralik is drawn to living and working in the Eatonville community because he wants his family to live in that type of environment.
Kralik was among 12 applicants for the Eatonville coaching post. Six of them were interviewed by a committee that included parents, district representatives, one of Fairhart’s former assistants, and Sid Otten, who retired last year at Tumwater as the all-time winningest coach in Washington high school football history.
Colgan said the selection process took about two weeks.
Kralik said it's "a special privilege" to coach in the footsteps of Fairhart, who was with the Cruisers for 24 years, and Steve Gervais, another previous Eatonville coach who led the Cruisers to three 1A state championships.
"I will draw on my experience to work toward building on the rich and proud tradition of Eatonville football," Kralik said.
Before stepping down after two seasons at South Kitsap, a 4A school, his teams had 2-8 records both years.
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