Haraldson steps down as Eureka High coach

Ray Hamill/ – Andrew Haraldsson talks to his players on the first day of practice for the spring 2021 season.

By Ray Hamill — Eureka’s Andrew Haraldson announced on Saturday that he is stepping down as head coach of the Loggers football program after two years in charge.

Haraldson, who took over from Jason White in January, 2020, said he is leaving the team because of non-football related reasons, mostly associated with the pandemic.

“It’s just a lot of non-football stuff going on right now,” he said. “There are a lot of factors, and just spending a lot of time fighting battles that are not related to football, that took the joy out of coaching.”

Haraldson, who previously played for the Loggers and was the team’s long-time defensive coordinator before taking over as head coach, enjoyed a very successful debut season with the team last spring, finishing the abbreviated campaign 5-0 with thrilling overtime victories over Arcata and Fortuna.

The 2021 fall season, however, was a difficult one for the Loggers, who battled COVID protocols and injuries from day one and never seemed to get going on the way to a 2-7 record.

He admits his decision was not an easy one.

“It was tough,” he said. “I’m really close to this group of kids. I taught them in middle school, and it’s a talented group and awesome coaches.”

The head coach told his players of his decision on Saturday.

“I am very thankful to all the players and coaches who have given their blood, sweat and tears to Logger football,” he said in an email. “I greatly appreciate the resiliency demonstrated by our football family the last two years. Thank you to all the volunteers and community members who help support our kids.

“This was a very difficult decision to make. While I sincerely love all the people involved in our program, the coaching landscape has drastically changed since taking over the program in January 2020. The current non-football related challenges are battles that I don’t want to fight at this time.”

Haraldson, who has two young children aged 2 and 5, says that wanting to spend more time with them also played a role in his decision.

He also said, however, that this is probably not the end of his coaching career.

“I love coaching and I definitely envision coaching again,” he said, adding that he wants to take some time off and won’t be coaching in 2022.

Haraldson said that he will cherish the friendships he has made through coaching the Loggers.

“The memories I’ll have are the relationships I had with the players and the coaches,” he said. “I have nothing but love for the players and coaches.”

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