Heinze promoted at King’s West

There aren’t many people at King’s West High School who have been there since the beginning.

Emil Heinze is one of those people, having been a Warrior for 23 years, dating back to 1980 when he uprooted his family from California where he was a public school teacher for 11 years to join the fledgling then-Bremerton Christian school in the former Chico Elementary building.

He started the private Christian school’s golf team in the spring of ’81 and, with the exception of a leave-of-absence for the 2001 and 2002 seasons, has been the team’s leader ever since.

Now his duties in the school’s sports realm have been increased exponentially since he was tapped by school administrators to replace Tom Ward as athletic director.

Ward, who came to the Chico school after a long tenure at Tacoma Baptist, served one year in the position which was blemished by a scandal when former girls basketball coach Kelly Kolb pleaded guilty to having sex with an under-age member of his team.

A number of Port Orchard residents attend King’s West and several play for the school’s athletic teams.

“(Ward) was hired on a one-year basis,” Heinze said. “Principal Nick Sweeny and I started talking in January when he sensed a need for a new position of college counselor/athletic director/ transportation director.

He opened that position up this spring and there were two applicants — Tom and myself — and after evaluating each of us, (Sweeny) offered it to me.”

Heinze said his time of service to the school was a primary factor in Sweeny’s decision.

“I know the school because I’ve been here for 23 years,” said Heinze, who has a master’s degree in education administration from Seattle University. “Being involved with the golf team I got to know the athletic directors over the years, but I never knew what went on behind the scenes.”

The King’s West athletic director oversees the cross-country, boys and girls soccer, volleyball, bowling, boys and girls basketball, track and field and softball teams at the high school as well as the middle-school teams.

“Looking at it from the outside, you just don’t know how much work behind the scenes an athletic director does,” Heinze said. “It’s easy to be critical and now God is giving me a new perspective. It’s going to take a while, like maybe a year or two, before everything is where I believe it needs to be.

“The coaches I’ve run into have been very supportive and helping me along the way,” he said, noting he’d still like to find a couple of assistant coaches to fill vacancies.

He believes he can keep on coaching the Warriors golf team, which was represented at state Class B tournament this year by Adam Shildmyer and Nate Dittmer.

“I hear things get easier in the spring,” he said.

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