From one Pullman football coach to another
PULLMAN -- Last Friday, Pullman High School as a legend.
Longtime football coach Ray Hobbs passed away at the age of 88.
And even though he retired more than a decade ago, he’s still with Pullman football.
“We didn’t know much about coach Hobbs, but just that one year under him as a senior was really special for us,” Pullman head football coach Dave Cofer said.
Cofer has a special connection to Ray Hobbs.
“He really mentored me in a lot of different ways,” Cofer said. “I kind of looked up to him as a grandpa figure and it was a special moment to play for him and coach alongside him for a year as well.”
Even though Cofer’s name and Hobb’s name is only two rosters officially, Hobbs made a large impact on his life.
“My first memory of him was, one of the first team meetings we had, he drew this object on the white board,” Cofer recanted. “He asked us ‘Hey guys, do you know what that is?’ and we all looked at each other like, ‘No.’ We had no idea. And he said, ‘That’s the Dome.’”
The Tacoma Dome; where the Washington high school state football championship games are held.
State championships and winning, something Hobbs knew well.
He’s the winningest coach in Washington State history and the architect behind Pullman’s heyday (he also had coaching stops in Colton and Lewiston high schools).
For the legend, the most important end game, were the players.
“He always called me Tiger,” Cofer laughed. “I don’t know but for whatever reason. Whenever I was screwing up, it was Hanyak. And you know, it’s funny because to talk to people who played for him in the past, those nicknames haven’t really changed.”
He like to keep it old school.
“Even this year as my first year, being a head coach, I got a couple handwritten notes from him,” He said.
Hobbs continued to coach Cofer.
“He would cut out an article and mail it to you and give his thoughts on the game,” He said. “You always knew he was following you and really supporting you – and giving you those encouraging things.”
Although Hobbs won’t be watching Hounds football this year, if Pullman can bring home another 2A state title…
“That’ll be pretty special,” Cofer said.