By Anna Lieberman • Intern • 

McMinnville hires former Sprague coach to lead football program

McMinnville Athletic Director Mark Hinthorn announced Monday that Robin Hill will be the new football coach at McMinnville High School. Hill, who formerly coached the Sprague Olympians for 24 years, retired after the 2011 season, but after a year off, Hinthorn said Hill was ready to get back into the game.

Hinthorn said Hill coached the Olympians to the playoffs in 21 of his 24 years, including in 2004 when they defeated Lake Oswego to win the 4A state championship.

The move comes after the Grizzlies spent a season without a permanent coach. Assistant Don Rutschman took over in July for outgoing Jeff Kearin, who took a job at Occidental College in California after spending two years at Mac. Rutschman coached the Grizzlies to a fourth-place finish in the Pacific Conference and a 5-5 record. Mac also earned its first home playoff game in eight seasons.

Hinthorn said Hill is vacationing in Hawaii with his wife. He was unavailable for comment Monday. Look for a complete story in Tuesday's News-Register as well as a follow-up story Friday with comment from Hill.

Also of note, McMinnville graduate and assistant football coach Luke Bucheit was hired in January by Sprague to be its head baseball coach. Bucheit was also a defensive coordinator for the Grizzlies, and Hinthorn said Bucheit will coach in some capacity for the Olympians next fall. 

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