Greg Herd was set on staying at Steilacoom. Guess who talked him into taking a closer look at the Auburn Riverside football job?

Greg Herd constantly stresses to high school football players he coaches to never lose sight of their long-term goals.

From the day he picked up a football, starring at quarterback for Steilacoom High School (2009 graduate), changing positions at Eastern Washington (2012) and becoming an assistant at three different stops – Herd has always wanted to lead his own program.

And he now will – Herd, 29, was hired Tuesday to become the new coach at Auburn Riverside High School, replacing Marcus Yzaguirre, who left to take the head job at Federal Way High School.

Last season, Herd served as the play-caller for a Steilacoom offense that averaged 423.0 yards and 43.4 points per game behind first-year starting quarterback Chase McDonald and one of the nation’s top recruits for 2021 – wide receiver Emeka Egbuka.

The Sentinels advanced to their first Class 2A title game, losing to Tumwater.

A few months after the season ended, Herd applied for a head-coaching position in the area, and was not hired.

So instead of taking a hard look at the Auburn Riverside vacancy, he figured a third season for a 2A contender under coach Colby Davies would be a smart move.

But then an aunt “who knows me like the back of her hand” intervened.

“She said I was too addicted to consistency and didn’t allow myself to take chances,” Herd said.

“After that, I was upset. Then I did some self-reflecting, and knew I had to take … a leap of faith. So I applied.”

That leap of faith paid off – he has his own team now in the 4A NPSL.

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