Zac Farnam, who has given a decade of his football life to the Deer Park program as a player and later as an assistant coach, is heading north this season.
Farnam has taken over the duties of the head football coach at Newport High School.
A Spokane native, Farnam came to Deer Park as a fifth grader and became acquainted with football as a middle schooler. A 2002 DPHS grad, he played quarterback, running back, wide receiver and cornerback under head coach Doug McGill. Farnam was part of the 2000 Great Northern League football championship team.
“He was a pretty important guy in my life,” said Farnam of McGill.
It was under McGill that Farnam got his first taste of coaching football.
“I would break down film with coach McGill,” he explained. “I enjoyed it.”
Farnam would later attended Eastern Washington and Whitworth universities where he earned a degree in physical fitness/education.
“I wanted to be close to football,” said Farnam on his post-graduation plans.
After making contact with Scott Carlson, the DPHS athletic director, Farnman had an informal meeting with Stag head coach Keith Stamps and joined the staff as assistant receiver and defensive back coach. Farnam was the Stags’ defensive coordinator last fall.
In short time, Stamps and Farnam became inseparable during the football season as they wasted little time breaking down film a day or two after a game on Friday.
“He did a good job in teaching me the organizational things,” said Farman of his time with Stamps. “He let me have my chance.”
During his six years as an assistant coach, Farnam helped the Stags compile a 35-17 record, including a team record 9 wins in 2011 along with a GNL championship.
“I had a pretty big itch to be a head coach,” Farnam said.
He admitted that he thought he would stay at Deer Park and eventually replace Stamps as head coach when he decided to leave.
The drawback to that plan was Farnam was only a part-time teacher in the Deer Park School District.
The Newport head football coach came with a full-time teaching position at the high school.
It also came with Farnam having to finally embrace the color red, the hue of the Stags’ rival Riverside. Farnam was notorious for not letting Stags wear the color at practice during his time as assistant coach.
The Grizzlies team colors are red and black.
The Grizzlies, coming off a 7-3 last season (3-2 in the Northeast A League), were in need of a head football coach when Adam Daniel decided to accept a position on the coaching staff at University High School.
Despite being hired late in the school year, Farnam still had time to hold a six-day camp this summer to get his players (the Grizzlies have five seniors) a feel on what type of offense and defense the Grizzlies will deploy this season. Farnam also took 35 players to the Whitworth football camp, the first time many of his players had ever been to a camp not held in Newport.
Farnam also had time to hold a football camp for grade schoolers last month.
While Farnam will not get back to coaching until the official start of the season on Aug. 15, he is using the interim to take care of the countless organizational matters that traditionally fall on the shoulders of the head coach.
Farnam’s first game will be held at Manson on Aug. 31 before hosting Priest River in the Grizzlies’ home opener a week later before starting their NE-A season on Sept. 14 against Medical Lake.