Steve Powell/Staff Photo 
                                Rocky Verbeck talks to Marysville coaches Wednesday.

Steve Powell/Staff Photo Rocky Verbeck talks to Marysville coaches Wednesday.

Rocky has some big shoes to fill

MARYSVILLE – Even though retired Marysville schools athletic director Greg Erickson only wore size 9 1/2 or 10 shoes, his replacement, Rocky Verbeck, told district coaches Wednesday that he has “big shoes to fill.”

Erickson was the A.D. for 26 years.

Even though Verbeck supervises the coaches, he said he wants to have a more “supportive, servant attitude.” As an example, he wanted them all to write down their prep periods so he could “come to you” rather than the other way around.

Verbeck comes from a small school district in Chewelah with only 750 kids, but he knows no matter how big or small a district is that coaches “work their tails off.”

At his first meeting with all the coaches, Verbeck admitted that even though it was his 32nd “first day of school” he was “a little nervous right now.”

Verbeck has spent most of his life in Eastern Washington. He was a successful head boys basketball coach for 20 years, but also led teams in softball, golf, track and more.

Even though he’s from the other side of the mountains, he said he’s a good friend of Arlington High School athletic director Tom Roys. His wife will be teaching fourth grade in Arlington, and one of his sons will be coaching here.

Verbeck did some job shadowing with Erickson, and he’s met most of the high school head coaches and visited at least one of their fall practices.

“The hardest part is remembering everyone’s name,” he said.

Verbeck asked the coaches to emphasize values like sportsmanship, honor and courage.

“Let’s keep communications open,” he said.

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