When Kennedy Catholic football coach Bob Bourgette decided to retire last fall, he concluded a 40-year career (as assistant and head coach) that amassed 200 victories, 18 league titles and produced several Division I players, including current Cougar Cole Madison. The Lancers hired former WSU graduate assistant Sheldon Cross to succeed Bourgette, and Cross didn't stray too far from the WSU tree when deciding to fill out his staff.
Cross started by naming former Cougar Nolan Washington as his defensive backs coach, and strength and conditioning coach. Washington is a Kennedy alumnus who lettered all four years in high school. At WSU, Washington appeared in 48 games, making 31 starts. Washington recorded 106 tackles and intercepted two passes as a Cougar.
Former WSU running back Derek Sparks was hired as Kennedy's associate head coach. Most recently, Sparks was the head coach at Garfield High. He spent only two seasons at Garfield, but led the 2015 Bulldogs to their first state playoff appearance since 1979.
At WSU, Sparks was a promising recruit and backup to Shaumbe Wright-Fair on the 1992 Copper Bowl team. Chronic shoulder problems derailed his career before it really got going. In all, Sparks compiled 1167 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns in his Cougar career. His biggest moment came in the 1994 Apple Cup, when he scored two touchdowns in WSU's 23-6 win over the 18th-ranked, and bowl-ineligible (because cheating) Washington Huskies.
To round out the WSU flavor on the Kennedy staff,
CouGreat former standout Cougar receiver Tim Stallworth was hired to help coach the Lancers' "C" team. In 1988, as a junior at WSU, Stallworth led the Pac-10 in receiving yards and touchdowns. He was instrumental in WSU's stunning upset over top-ranked UCLA.
Trailing 27-6, Stallworth caught the touchdown pass (Ok, he was really down but no replay!) to get the rally started. Then, with WSU trailing 27-20 and backed up to their own 19 yard line, Timm Rosenbach stood strong in the face of an all-out UCLA blitz, hitting Stallworth on a quick post. Stallworth outran the UCLA defense to the endzone, scoring the tying touchdown in a game the Cougs would go on to win.
So that's four former WSU players or coaches on one coaching staff. Fun(ish) fact: Both Nolan Washington and Tim Stallworth wore #2 at WSU. Best of luck to all the Cougars in their new gigs at Kennedy High School.