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Steve Pyne leaving Central Catholic (Oregon) football after 21 years

Pyne led Rams to 5 OSAA state championships in 21 seasons; he's departing to Southwest Washington power Union

Longtime Central Catholic (Oregon) head football coach Steve Pyne will begin to carve a new legacy on the other side of the Columbia River. 

Pyne is leaving the program after 21 seasons to become the coach at Washington state powerhouse Union, Central Catholic announced Thursday.

He became the first head coach in OSAA 6A history to win five state championships in November when the Rams beat Tualatin behind a state record-setting offensive showing.

Pyne took over in 2003 and built Central Catholic into a state power and accrued a 196-54 record. 

He has coached high school football in Oregon and Idaho for more than 35 years and has coached 11 All-Americans and several future NFL players at Central Catholic. 

No timetable to hire a replacement was immediately announced. Central Catholic president Colin McGinty said in a statement the school is "confident that our championship school, on and off the field, will find a candidate who aligns with our Catholic mission to prepare the hearts and minds of every student and continue our strong legacy of championship football."

Union has posted a 5-13 record the past two seasons but ascended to a WIAA class 4A state power in the past decade, winning the 2018 4A state title under head coach Rory Rosenbach, who left the school in July to become the athletic director at Glacier Peak

Kevin Coad, a longtime assistant, served as interim head coach last season for the Titans.

This is a developing story. 

Steve Pyne cases the field at Hillsboro Stadium before leading Central Catholic to a 2023 OSAA 6A state championship win over Tualatin in November, his fifth state title. (Photo by Leon Neuschwander) 

Steve Pyne cases the field at Hillsboro Stadium before leading Central Catholic to a 2023 OSAA 6A state championship win over Tualatin in November, his fifth state title. (Photo by Leon Neuschwander) 

Here is a statement released by Pyne:

"Life is a journey. Many people cross our paths and they all have an impact in one way or another. This has been my experience over the past 21 years at Central Catholic High School, from players, coaches, parents, colleagues and administrators. These interactions and relationships have allowed our program to become one of the most successful and recognized on the West Coast. As it is often said, all things come to an end. Through much soul searching, conversations and more than a few tears, I have decided to step down as the head football coach at Central Catholic. 

For the past 21 years my family and I have poured ourselves into the Central Catholic football program and the great community Central Catholic embodies. My wife, Erica, has been the rock that enabled me to pursue building a program that the Central Catholic community could be proud of. It is now time for me to return that gift to her and do what is best for our family. 

To the administrators over the years, thank you for allowing our program to grow and flourish. Nothing is ever accomplished without support and guidance, for that I am truly thankful. To Ron Edwards and Mark Horak, thank you for taking a chance on a young, green coach and allowing me to grow under your guidance. To the other ADs, Principals, and Presidents I have had the pleasure to work with, I am forever grateful for your support, guidance and encouragement over the past 21 years. 

To the parents, I thank you for entrusting our coaching staff to work with your children. We know that it takes a great deal of trust to release your child to the care of someone else. I am grateful that you allowed us to coach your sons and hope we provided them with the experience and lessons to help them navigate life after football. To every parent who volunteered their time, energy, and resources...thank you, we could not have grown to the heights we have without your support. 

To the coaches and managers, thank you for giving our football program everything you had, no matter how long you served. There have been too many coaches and managers over the past 21 years to list them all, but I would like to recognize a few who have been nothing but loyal and who I consider the cornerstones of what we have accomplished. Thank you, Jeff Kersten, Grant Hampton, Craig Pyne, Anthony Newman, Renny Rector, Chris Butterfield, Matt Jones, Barry Dillard, Jay Wallace, Paul Kraus, Jim Gabriel, Nick Vanoudenhaegen, John Guthrie, Vic Rust, Ian Gaffney, Jim Nagae, and Roy Adee for your time, energy, effort, and dedication to Central Catholic football. 

To our amazing medical staff, Dr. O'Shea, Dr. Goodwill, Dr. Barsotti, Erin LeRoy and Juliet Baker, thank you for supporting our athletes and always making sure they had the best medical treatment possible. 

To our alumni and boosters, you have been nothing short of awesome! I have had so many wonderful conversations over the years and it is humbling how invested the Central Catholic community is in the is truly unique. 

To Molly Sanders, you are a Rockstar! Your investment in our facilities has made the difference for thousands of students over the past 21 years and for years to come; you are as responsible as anyone for our success! There are not enough words to describe my gratitude and appreciation for all you have done. The Central Catholic community is truly blessed to have you! 

To Monsignor Murphy, thank you for always adding an amazing perspective to all of life's challenges. I will miss our impromptu conversations about all topics. You made many situations more tolerable and enjoyable than they should have been. You are a true LEGEND, even though you would never admit it! 

To our PLAYERS, the WHY of our program. You have given more than I deserved over the years. You sacrificed your time, you worked extremely hard and have been selfless. I hope that you are as blessed as I have been to go to work each day and have others pour into you the way you have poured into me. Please know that you are loved and appreciated! The memories and experiences you provided me will be cherished for all my years on earth. Please continue to support the program and whoever is selected to be the next head coach. Through your strength and enthusiasm, you will help the program continue to stay strong and competitive for the years to come. Thank you for everything, I am so very humbled and proud that I had the opportunity to be your coach. 

I will carry Central Catholic in my heart and will always bleed Cardinal and Gold. Thank you again to everyone who has played a part in helping shape this program. My love and admiration to you all! 

How are we going to do it? Together...Count On Me! 

Love, Coach Pyne"

-- Andy Buhler | | @sblivesports