December has been a fine month for Chiawana football coach Steve Graff.
First, he earned his fourth career state title — and first with the Riverhawks — when Chiawana beat Camas 27-26 on Saturday in the Class 4A final at the Tacoma Dome.
Graff’s week got even better Friday, when the 17-year Pasco coaching legend was named the Washington State Football Coaches Association and Seattle Seahawks Coach of the Year.
The coaches’ association and the Seattle Seahawks will honor Graff at the Seahawks’ Dec. 22 game against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field.
It is the second time he has received the honor, which comes with a $2,000 grant for the Chiawana football program.
“It has been pretty exciting all week at school. The student body is reacting to the kids like they were movie stars,” Graff said, referring to an assembly held Friday to celebrate the state title. “It’s rewarding for the coaches along with the kids. Our coaches worked really hard for this.”
Graff, the Mid-Columbia Conference coach of the year, has always shied away from personal accolades, preferring to credit players and fellow coaches for any success he’s had.
“It’s really a team effort, and he’s built a cohesive group of coaches over the years that work exceptionally well together,” Chiawana Athletic Director John Cazier said.
Graff is 151-43 after 16 seasons — the first 11 at Pasco — which ties him for 62nd with Rob Friese in career victories among Washington High School coaches.