Less than four weeks before the first practice of the preseason, Lake City High has announced its new head football coach.
Brian Fulp, 27, a coach in the program the past two seasons, was officially named Lake City interim head football coach on Tuesday.
Kelly Reed, a former Lake City football assistant and the T-Wolves’ longtime head track and field coach, will return to the football program as associate head coach and offensive coordinator.
“We feel with the timing, Brian is a good fit,” Lake City athletic director Jim Winger said. “He’s young, but very knowledgeable and organized. We need some stability, and he brings that. Working with Kelly will be huge — he was a big part of our success. They’re a good combination together.”
Fulp was head junior varsity football coach at Lake City last fall, after working as an offensive assistant on the JV in 2016. He coached JV boys basketball last season (under Winger, also the head boys basketball coach) and has been an assistant track and field coach the past three seasons under Reed.
“I’m excited,” said Fulp, a 2009 Priest River High graduate who went on to study at the University of Idaho. “I think that we have a great foundation in place in order to move forward and be successful. We have a very experienced staff, which I’m going to lean on heavily.”
Fulp will be only the third head coach at Lake City since the school opened in 1994 — but he will be the Timberwolves’ third head coach in four seasons.
Van Troxel started the program and coached the first 22 seasons before resigning after the 2015 seasons.
Bryce Erickson coached in 2016 and ’17, before resigning in late May.
Because of the lateness of the hire, Winger said the school opted to make Fulp “interim” head coach this season — essentially giving him a season to prove himself. Administrators will evaluate him at the end of the season.
“Brian’s going to have every chance to remove that (interim) tag,” Winger said. “I’m not looking for somebody else; I have a ton of confidence in Brian.”
“I’m just really happy for the opportunity, and really excited to go forward,” Fulp said. “All we can control is the next year.”
Since reaching the state 5A semifinals in 2014, Lake City has gone 7-19 the past three seasons.
Lake City enjoyed most of its football success with Reed as a member of the staff, including state championships in 2002 and ’06.
Fulp said he and Reed talked about coaching together when the head football job came open, and “I was really happy when he said that he would coming along and bringing his knowledge.
“I think that the way he communicates with athletes and kids, it really resonates with them,” Fulp added of Reed. “Kids really enjoy working with him.”
Fulp was named acting head coach when Erickson resigned, so even though the hiring process stretched out a bit, he’s essentially been in charge of the program for more than a month — overseeing the summer conditioning program, and guiding the T-Wolves at a team camp at the University of Idaho in June.
“We’re going to be very disciplined,” Fulp said of his team. “Football, and especially high school football, is more than just the game — it’s building character and traits that are going to last a lifetime.”
Fulp played quarterback and safety at Priest River. His dad, Ralph, coached football and other sports at Cusick (Wash.).