Since the pandemic ended there has been a huge transition in Athletic Directors all across the state with at least a 25% turnover rate in the past 2 years. Then there are some who have changed schools and other districts have simply cut the position. However, no individual league likely has undergone the change that the EVCO 2A league has with the end of this year in the books. The EVCO 2A is the old Black Hills League for the historians and recently have included Aberdeen, Black Hills, Centralia, Rochester, Shelton, Tumwater and WF West. Not long ago River Ridge was part of this league.

Jeff Johnson

By the end of June every single school will have a new Athletic Director with 3 pending retirements. Let’s start with the current newer AD’s. In Aberdeen John Crabbe took over for Aaron Roiko who is now the Principal at Aberdeen, Tim Ahern is the former AD at Olympia High School and left the state for a few years and came back 2 years ago to take over as Centralia’s new AD stepping in for Scott Chamberlain. Chamberlain shifted to Shelton and is leading the Highclimbers Athletic program. In Rochester Jesse Elam left for a position in Chehalis and the Warriors new AD is Kevin Jurek.

That in itself is a lot of change in a short amount of time but now it will be a clean sweep with Don Farler at Black Hills, Tim Graham at Tumwater and WF West’s Jeff Johnson all retiring at the end of the month.

Their replacements have been hired and are in place. We are excited to get to know each of them as they get settled and they are Tommy Elder for WF West who has a lot of experience at WF West and no doubt this will be a smooth transition. At Black Hills they went out of state to hire their new AD. Nikki Nelson comes to Black Hills from Texas where she was the district AD for the Lamar Consolidated School District, a position she held since 2015 and prior to that she was a school AD, assistant Principal, teacher and coach. Tumwater is going with enthusiasm and energy instead of experience with Jordan Magrath. Graham is going to stay on for a year as a part time consultant to help the transition. 

Don Farler

We reached out to each and got a chance to talk with Tim Graham and Jeff Johnson, Don Farler didn’t respond but that is not be surprising either. Don has been a great friend to Eli Sports and he has been super involved not only with Wolves athletics but also at the League, District 4 level and has given many hours to the WIAA helping with a variety of State events and tournaments.

Farler is also one who would avoid recognition and let his work speak for him so not getting a call back from Don is not surprising and we absolutely honor his desire to quietly head to retirement and wish him all the best.

We did get a chance to talk with both Jeff Johnson and Tim Graham. Johnson stepped in for Scott Chamberlain when he left for Centralia. Johnson says he has been so pleased with his years as AD and it has been an unexpected path to his retirement. Here is our conversation with Jeff Johnson:



Tim Graham

Tim Graham had no idea what he was in for when he landed a job at Tumwater 30 years ago. Graham had gone the traditional route going to High School at North Kitsap and college in Southern Oregon he bounced around to a couple of teaching jobs when an opening came up at Tumwater and he got the job. Little did he know his journey was just beginning and has been not only a mainstay at Tumwater and filled some big shoes, Graham’s impact can be felt statewide with his longtime work as District 4 Director and his work with the WIAA. Tim was kind enough to sit down with us and talk about his incredible journey:





Tim’s wife Kellie has been the Athletic Secretary for 16 years and is also retiring. We thank all three of these great AD’s for their longtime support and help with Eli Sports and we wish them all a very happy retirement.


By paulb

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