After two years of coaching football in Missouri, Seth Womack is returning to Oregon.
Womack, the former head coach at Eagle Point (2013-18) and Redmond (2019-20), has been hired as the coach at 5A Crater. He is replacing Berk Brown, who resigned to become the coach at Southern Oregon University.
Womack is well acquainted with Crater from his time at Eagle Point, the Comets' main rival. He nearly became an assistant at Crater in 2019 before taking the Redmond job.
“Now that I got the opportunity again, my wife and I, there was no way we were going to pass on it this time,” Womack said. ”We're very lucky and blessed to be able to join the Crater family.”
Womack, 42, is looking forward to reconnecting with friends in Southern Oregon, even if he finds himself on the other side of a hot rivalry.
“I've already had a bunch of my former Eagle Point players text me and say, 'Coach, I can't put orange and black on, just so you know,'” Womack said. “But they're all glad I'm back. I had another kid call me a traitor, but then said, 'I can't wait.' It's a fun rivalry.”
Womack, who will teach weight training at the high school, is looking forward to coaching on the home side at Dutch Meyer Stadium.
“Some of my best memories of coaching football were on that other sideline vs. Crater,” he said. “I've been a lot of places and played football in a lot of stadiums, and the Crater student section, I don't know that there's a better one. They bring so much energy and excitement every Friday night. I'm excited to have that on my side.”
Womack went 23-33 in six seasons at Eagle Point and 11-5 in two seasons at Redmond. He resigned as Redmond's coach after leading the team to a 5-1 record in the COVID-shortened season and became the coach at California High School in Missouri, going 7-4 and 4-6 in two seasons.
So why did he move away and decide to return? Much of it had to do with his son Wrigsby and daughter Delaney, who are in the third and second grade, respectively.
“When schools were shut down in Oregon, they weren't shut down in Missouri,” said Womack, an Illinois native who played at Westminster College in Missouri. “I had an opportunity and a good network of friends and family in this area, so we decided we wanted to get out kids back into school.
“I know my kids did better in school. I don't regret it by any means. We've had a great experience here in Missouri.”
Womack and his wife Alyssa, who is from Oklahoma, missed the Rogue Valley, though. If the right job opened up, he planned to pursue returning to the area.
“And really that right job was probably Crater,” he said. “I don't know that I would've gone back for many other jobs. We really feel like Southern Oregon is home for us. We're just excited to get back to the Rogue Valley.”
As the athletic director at Eagle Point, Womack developed a strong working relationship with Crater athletic director Dave Heard. The connection with Heard, who is retiring this year, was integral in his hiring at Crater.
“Dave has been a big influence on my career,” Womack said. “He taught me a lot about how to be an athletic director. I've always valued that and his friendship. His leadership that he's given over the years there is going to be felt for a long time. I know he's going to be a big supporter and a big fan of ours.”
Heard was sold on Womack, but said “it was just a matter of getting him here.”
“The first thing I look at is, does he understand how a program works in a community like ours?” Heard said. “He was at Eagle Point long enough to know how we do things.”
Brown, who resigned in mid-January, went 13-12 in the last three seasons with the Comets. They went 3-6 last year, struggling on offense after junior quarterback Shane Wood went down with an injury early in the season.
There is reason for optimism in that Wood is expected to return along with the starting offensive line. Heard said that Womack is a good fit considering he is a “run-first guy.”
“Our strength right now is we have all of our linemen back,” Heard said. “They were sophomores, pretty much.”
Womack has coaching experience at the college level, too, as the defensive coordinator at Westminster and the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma Panhandle State. He was the offensive and defensive coordinator at California High School last season.
“I grew a lot more gray hairs last season,” he said.
Womack will be working with a new athletic director in Brad Eaton, a longtime football assistant coach at Crater. Eaton will move over to the high school after serving as the principal at Scenic Middle School.
“He'll be great,” Heard said of Eaton. “He's a big sports guy. He's been in our community a long time. It's going to be a good set-up.”