Kevin Hastin went 20-16 in four seasons at Newberg, including 13-4 the last two years. (Photo by Dean Takahashi)
Kevin Hastin went 20-16 in four seasons at Newberg, including 13-4 the last two years. (Photo by Dean Takahashi)

Sherwood has hired Newberg's Kevin Hastin as football coach, replacing longtime coach Greg Lawrence, who is retiring.

Hastin oversaw a dramatic turnaround for the Tigers since taking over the program in 2017. They went 2-7, 5-5, 8-3 and 5-1 in his four seasons, including a breakthrough win over Pacific Conference power Sherwood this season.

Hastin has lived in Sherwood since moving to Oregon from Southern California in 2017. He said leaving the Newberg job was a “family decision,” considering daughters Audrey and Olivia are in the sixth and third grade, respectively, in the Sherwood School District.

“To be able to teach and coach at the school my girls are going to go to, that was the deciding factor,” Hastin said.

Lawrence's retirement marks the end of an era for Sherwood football. In his 27 seasons as coach, he went 234-72 with 5A championships in 2010 and 2012. He also had four state runner-up teams, two of them losing by one point in the championship game.

Lawrence said he informed the school of his decision to retire about a month ago.

“I just said, 'Hey, it's time,'” said Lawrence, who turns 60 in September. “I've been at it for 33 years. For sure, next year was going to be my last year teaching, and I thought about coaching one more season. But it was just time. … COVID really took it out of me. The new school building did not rejuvenate me like I thought maybe it would.”

Lawrence said his wife, Kathi, also is retiring this year. They bought a house in Arizona six months ago.

“That kind of sped things up,” he said. “After going out there a couple times, it was like, man, I don't want to leave. I'm excited about the new adventure. I didn't want to die coaching. A lot of guys go forever. I want to start my last 20, 25, 30 years and enjoy myself.”

Lawrence said he believes Hastin will be a good fit at Sherwood.

“I think I left it in great shape,” he said. “It's nice to see Kevin runs the wing-T, so we'll keep the same offense there.”

Hastin coached Troy High School of Fullerton, Calif., to four playoff appearances in five seasons before taking over at Newberg.

Under his direction, Newberg became one of the state's fastest-rising programs. The Tigers' eight wins in 2019 was their most since 1960. They went 4-0 in the Pacific this season, finishing ahead of Sherwood (5-1, 3-1 Pacific), and appear ready to be state contenders again this fall.

“I'm walking away from a very, very good senior class,” Hastin said. “You look at our contributors from last season, there's some big names coming back. It wasn't just a football decision. Family was a priority in this decision. At the same time, I'm moving into a program that's been doing things great for a long time, which is a win-win for me.”

Hastin said his experience with the wing-T should make for a “smooth transition” at Sherwood.

“I think that's a big deal,” Hastin said. “I've ran the wing-T, a couple different versions, under center and out of the pistol. We look very similar on film. The roots are there. I'm excited to get going and get on the same page with terminology, and take a look at what we have coming back.”

Hastin told Newberg players of his decision Monday.

“It was rough. It was tough to get through,” Hastin said. “It's hard to leave the relationships I built at Newberg. Some great feats that we were able to accomplish. I'm definitely going to miss quite a few people at Newberg.”

Hastin grew up in Southern California and played linebacker at Portland State from 2000 to 2002. His uncle and cousin, Craig and Rob Hastin, were head coaches at Tualatin.