In a League of His Own

How Ed Haskins’ departure will impact Garfield.



145133 — STAR TIMES– 02/23/2015 Boys basketball coach of the year Ed Haskins of Garfield for Star-Times basketball photo shoot. Shot outside the North Creek Printing Facility in Bothell on Monday, Feb. 23, 2015. (LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES)

Garfield’s head basketball coach and athletic director Ed Haskins was offered and accepted a position as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Washington State University earlier this month. Haskins’ recent departure has left behind a nearly decade-long legacy that has dramatically affected Garfield’s identity. As a result, taking on the new job wasn’t easy for Haskins.
“[Leaving Garfield] was probably the most bittersweet thing I have ever done. Literally. That’s why I had to do it over spring break because I don’t think that I could’ve done it because I had to leave with kids there, my kids. I just couldn’t have done it, it would’ve been too hard,” reminisced Haskins.
However, after being offered jobs by college teams for years, Haskins felt compelled to take a job at his alma mater, Washington State.
“In life you always want to strive to fulfill goals, and I’m a Christian and I feel like this is something Christ wanted me to do. I believe this is the next step in my life. I didn’t seek this job, this job sought me, and so I feel like when things like this happen and when doors open, you walk through them…and the door was wide open for me,” commented Haskins.
The legacy Coach Haskins has left on Garfield truly has made it’s mark on Garfield’s identity. We’ve interviewed several staff and students who experienced Haskins’ work first-hand to capture the effects of his time at Garfield.

“Anytime someone walks out they will be missed and you really don’t realize all the things someone did until they’re gone,” said Principal Howard on Haskins’ legacy at Garfield. For many students, Haskins served as a key member off the basketball court and in the Garfield community as a whole.  “I’ve been

around for twenty years, and I’ve lived through a lot of athletic directors and activity coordinators,” shared Garfield tennis coach, Ira  Moss. “Ed brought stability, I think, to many programs at Garfield. The athletic department has had a checkered past in terms of turnover and uncertainty. Ed’s ten years here really brought that to a close.”
According to Moss, this stability stems from Haskins’ dedication to

supporting fellow coaches: “Neither Ed nor any other athletic director in Seattle
is really a tennis person. But Ed really made an effort to try and understand the circumstances that the tennis team operates
Haskins’ faithfulness to exceeding the standards of success has inspired many Garfield coaches to do the same, including new head softball coach Whitney Jones.
“That mentality and expectation of greatness that has been established through Haskins and the basketball program definitely had an impact on my eagerness to take the job at Gar   field,” stated Jones.
During his time here Haskins also devoted himself to networking with other schools around the country, allowing Garfield High School sports to become a well-known program.
“He sat on a lot of national conferences for us, so Garfield’s name became more of a role model for other states,” shared Howard. “He would go to conferences and Garfield was always talked about, looked at, and analyzed.”
Perhaps Haskins’ best-known legacy is in his leadership as head coach of the basketball program; however, the positive changes he made in Garfield
basketball went beyond winning games.
“[Haskins] made me a better individual… [in] the character traits he taught us, like perserverance and facing adversity,” said junior J’Rann Brooks, a varsity basketball player since he transferred to Garfield in Brooks’ sophomore year. “He focused on making sure we were a team and a family. We did extra-curricular activities outside [of practice], like we went bowling, which made us a stronger team.”
The guidance Haskins gave to his players was also seen outside of athletics. “His biggest impact in the building was mentoring students,” stated assistant principal Lenora Lee. “He mentored basketball players that he coached but he also built relationships with students on other teams and students in the building just with his interactions.”
Haskins was able to not only provide guidance for Garfield students, but advocate for their education.
“He sat on a lot of programs here that not only brought in resources but also had us analyzing our curriculum and things that we do,” said Howard. ‘Was it beneficial for all kids?’, ‘was it only portraying eurocentric points of views?’, ‘was it encompassing all students?’. Those were conversations that I watched him be a part of with the Language Arts, Math, and Science teams.”
According to Lee, “What’s evident about the impact that he had was that young people who have graduated and gone to college keep contacting him and coming back, wanting to work under him and learn what he’s learned.”

While Haskins directly impacted the school, it was Garfield, according to Hakskins, that  was the one affecting him.
“In my nine years there, the one thing I’ve known about Garfield is that the constant is Garfield,” stated Haskins. “There’s been a lot of different coaches, a lot of different principals, a lot of different athletic directors.” According to Haskins, the school impacts the staff, not the other way around.
“One thing I’ve always known is that I’m just the caretaker of Garfield. Garfield is the mecca, not Ed Haskins. Garfield’s the important thing-not me, Garfield.” Haskins shared, “I tried to take the best care of our school as I could while I was there.”
According to Principal Howard, Garfield is still advertising for the position of head coach, and expects to get a lot of applicants.
As for the athletic director position, Mrs. Lee is in the position temporarily. However, administration is also looking for a permanent Athletic Director.