Chiawana Hall of Fame football coach Steve Graff retires after 23 years, four state championships

Chiawana head coach Steve Graff, a four-time state champion and one of the winningest coaches in Washington state history, retired from his post after 23 seasons, the school announced on Tuesday.

Graff, 57, was inducted into the Washington Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 2016.

Graff’s impact in his more than two decades of head coaching looms large in the Pasco School District and Tri-Cities, and will live on in the Washington high school football record books.

He retires as the ninth winningest active coach in the state with 203 wins and 59 losses, four state championships across two schools (1998, 2000, 2003 and 2013) — Pasco and Chiawana — and two runner-up finishes. 

He took over as head coach at Pasco in 1997 after nine years as an assistant, and won his first state championship in his season year as a head coach. He became Chiawana’s head coach when the school opened in 2009.

Chiawana, the state’s largest high school, went 8-0 en route to winning his 13th league title as a head coach. 

“It’s not very often you have someone of his coaching history and a guy that is really a legend in our community, remarkable history around the state even,” Chiawana athletic director John Cazier said.

Graff will remain a health and fitness teacher at Chiawana. Cazier, who played for Graff at Pasco and is now a hunting partner of his, said if he had to guess, “Steve is going to go sit in a hunting tree stand in the fall.”

There is no timeline for Graff’s replacement yet, according to Cazier, but the position will be opened up in a “timely manner.”

Andy Buhler is a reporter for Scorebook Live Washington. Hear him weekly on the Scorebook Live Today podcast, follow him on Twitter @AndyBuhler; email at andy@scorebooklive.com.

Statewide High School Sports Reporter at SBLive | andy@scorebooklive.com

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