With the WIAA State Tournament starting this week in Tacoma, the Facts will be spotlighting a local coach as he prepares his team for the tournament. Today our focus will be Ed Haskins Head Coach of the Garfield Bulldogs Mens Basketball team .
The folklore of Garfield athletics is known far and wide, the spirit of Garfield is known universally.The Boys basketball team has won 11 state champions, it’s list of notable alumni would rival any master thesis in terms of pages and content.
At the end of the day it’s about following ones dream. As the great poet Langston Hughes said ” Hold onto dreams, for if dreams die, life is like a broken-winged bird,that cannot fly.” For Garfield High School basketball Coach Ed Haskins, coaching the states ( 35th nationally) number one ranked basketball boys team(24-2) into the WIAA 3A State Tournament for a shot at winning a third State championship is a dream come true. Dream aside Haskins is quick to point out that this years teams is not the defending champions.
” I tell the youth that they have not won anything. Last year we won a State Championship. That was last year, Haskins is quick to point out. ” What is important is to finish number one at the end of the season.” Garfield has finished number one the last two years and has a chance to win it’s third consecutive State championship a feat that has never being accomplished in school history. The years teams only instate loss was a 76 to 69 loss to rival Rainier Beach at Beach on February 2nd. On February 12 the two storied schools met for the Metro League Championship at the Bulldogs got their revenge with a 65 to 63 squeaker. Garfield’s only other blemish was an out of state 74-64 loss on December 29th to DeMatha High School of Hyattsville, MD at the prestigious Nike Les Schawab Holiday Tournament in Beaverton, Oregon.
2016 Tournament outlook:
“This is a special season for us in so many ways. We are like family and have a solid team from 1-13. I am really proud of our players for staying focused and playing for each other. We have dedicated this season to Coach Mike Nowell. Our relationship goes back over twenty years and our coaching journey together started while he was coaching at Evergreen at the time and I asked him if he was interested in coming and helping me coach here at Garfield when I was given the job, he said yes and the rest is history as they say. He was a special individual who was a coach, mentor, father and husband to a loving family and community. Hopeful we can do him proud this year by doing the same thing we did last year in hoisting the tournament winner trophy. Last year was so special in that this great man was going thru Chemo and yet was able to watch is son Jaylen Nowell hoist the winners trophy and be named tournament MVP .”
The Haskins Way:
“I am completely a defensive coach. Pressure busts pipes . When you look at teams especially here at Garfield. It’s about out our pace and when you get to State, things get methodical but we can also play that type of game. We are averaging about 87 points a game and part of that is due to us moving and sharing the ball. We do not care who scores as long as we are playing hard nosed defense, taking and making good shots.”
Why or how did you get into coaching?
“It has and will always be about helping kids find their way. I was blessed to have role models before me and coaching seemed like the best way to continue to give back. I have been coaching for 18 years, 8 years at Garfield and everyday is like a dream to me. This is a dream job for me. There will always be ups and downs but at the end of the day the ability to have a positive impact on the lives of our youth is whats it’s all about.”
How coaching impacts kids at school?
“While we are unlikely role models to the youth in the schools, how we carry and conduct ourselves will always have a lasting impact on the youth in the building. Here at Garfield the kids are the ones that make it a special place. It is a privilege to be around the youth. Being a black man in Seattle you have to step up and be your best. You have to be there for the trials, tribulations and growth. It is a privilege and an honor I do not take lightly”
Did You Know:
Ed Haskins was an assistant to Rainier Beach Head Coach Mike Bethea for 9 years and the two are great friends?