Auburn Riverside coach Marcus Yzaguirre instructs his team during their 34-7 loss to Federal Way in a North Puget Sound League Valley Division opener at Federal Way Memorial Stadium on Sept. 27, 2019. The Eagles went on take the division title later in the season. OLIVIA SULLIVAN, Federal Way Mirror

Auburn Riverside coach Marcus Yzaguirre instructs his team during their 34-7 loss to Federal Way in a North Puget Sound League Valley Division opener at Federal Way Memorial Stadium on Sept. 27, 2019. The Eagles went on take the division title later in the season. OLIVIA SULLIVAN, Federal Way Mirror

Federal Way hires Auburn Riverside’s Yzaguirre as head coach

‘Coach Izzy’ returns to familiar school, community where he coached for 6 seasons

Marcus Yzaguirre is returning home.

The Auburn Riverside High School football coach decided earlier this week to take the same job at Federal Way, a community in which he grew up and began his teaching and coaching career.

Yzaguirre succeeds one of his coaching mentors, John Meagher, who retired after 25 seasons with the Eagles.

“A lot of things that I did at Auburn Riverside from an organizational point, I got from John Meagher. I learned a lot of things from him,” said Yzaguirre, who was an assistant coach with the Eagles from 2007-12. He was named the 2012 Tacoma News Tribune All-Area Offensive Coordinator of the Year. “This made sense to be able to come back home. My heart is in Federal Way because that’s where I grew up.

“I wouldn’t have left Auburn Riverside for any other job,” Yzaguirre, 40, said on Saturday. “It was just an opportunity to come back home. You don’t get those opportunities very often. John had been there for 25 years and for him being there for that long, those jobs don’t open. And it’s a great job. It’s one of the best coaching jobs around in the state.”

As is the position at AR, which is in the process of finding a new coach.

“I think it’s plum. It’s a great job,” said Athletics Director Doug Aubert. “We’ve have a pipeline going and kids are charged up playing football here.”

In Meagher’s final season, Federal Way went 7-3 and captured the North Puget Sound League Valley Division title to reach the district playoffs. Yzaguirre’s Ravens finished 8-2 with a district playoff appearance last season. He went 11-9 in two seasons as head coach at AR.

At Auburn Riverside, “Coach Izzy”served as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for the five seasons before he was hired in May 2018 to be the head coach. Yzaguirre replaced Bryant Thomas, who resigned in April 2018 after five seasons of leading the Ravens.

With Yzaguirre directing the offense, Auburn Riverside finished the 2017 season as NPSL Olympic Division co-champions with an 8-2 record, falling to Camas in the district playoffs. He has been a part of two league championship teams and was named the 2013 South Puget Sound League Assistant Coach of the Year.

Making the move to come back to Federal Way was a difficult one. A Thomas Jefferson High School graduate, Yzaguirre earned his bachelors degree in communication from Washington State University and his masters degree in education at Grand Canyon University. He teaches language arts and English.

Yzaguirre and his family have a home along the Federal Way-Northeast Tacoma border.

“Coming back home is very special, but it was a tough (decision) because we did some special things at Auburn Riverside,” Yzaguirre said. “The community was behind us. The kids were special. … To get the school’s first two ever (championship) banners in school history and to have a great season (in 2019) … it was a very tough (decision). We did some special things there collectively.

“I’m so happy to be home. That part wasn’t tough,” he said, “but it’s always tough when you’re leaving something you helped build and when you’re leaving relationships. That was the tough part.

“There’s a lot of legacy there,” he added. “I have a chance to come back home and continue some of the legacy that I helped build there as well. It’s an honor to come back and continue the legacy that (Meagher) has built.”

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