A passion for the game
Lewman joins the Kingsmen with high ambitions
MILWAUKIE - Putnam's new head football coach, Brad Lewman, plans to make success in football the rule rather than the exception for Rex Putnam High School.
'When you graduate your entire offensive and defensive lines, a lot of people wonder where it can go from there,' Lewman said of his Kingsmen, who last season went 7-3 and advanced to the state playoffs for the first time since 1986.
'I'm going to do everything in my power to bring the best coaches in the state to Putnam,' said Lewman. 'There's not going to be a better group of coaches in any other high school program in Oregon, and the coaches are going to work their tails off to do what they can to make the team successful….
'Our goal is to continue to build on the success from last year and continue moving forward.'
Lewman, 43, who was offensive coordinator at Putnam last year, says that years of coaching and working the Barton Football Academy have gained him contacts with some of the best coaches in the business.
He's retaining Ryan Mitchell (head assistant), John Telesmanich (linebackers) and Nick Kalantari from last year's staff. But he says the trio and himself are the only coaches back from last year's 14-man coaching staff.
He's named Forrest Marcum (Beaverton and Lakeridge) as his defensive coordinator. Ace Salu, a former standout at Portland State University, will coach the defensive line.
Andy Berger, the jayvee coach at Central Catholic, is leaving the Rams to coach Putnam running backs.
Jeff Rudolph (Jesuit and Beaverton) has signed on to coach the receivers.
Lewman said last Thursday, 'We're in our ninth day of spring football. We've got 73 kids out - not including freshmen - and the kids are really buying into it. They're really excited. We end practices at 6 p.m. and when six o'clock comes around the kids are saying, 'Can't we stay longer?''
Lewman says of his short-term goals: 'To recruit the hallways. Get kids out for football and other sports as well….
'It's a matter of getting better every day fundamentally, and becoming the football family that we need to become to be successful.'
'Long-term, I see the program getting to the state playoffs and getting to the top of the Northwest Conference year-in and year-out,' Lewman said. 'It can happen, through development of the youth program and the commitment of the parents, players and coaching staff.'
A third generation Grants Pass Caveman, Lewman graduated from Grants Pass High School in 1985, where he wrestled and played football.
'I never came off the field [in football],' Lewman says. 'I played offensive guard, linebacker, and I was on every special team.'
Lewman said that the Cavemen 'always made the state playoffs' while he was at the school. He was a state qualifier in wrestling two seasons.
Lewman went on to play football at Shasta Community College and at Southern Oregon State University.
'I've always had a passion for football,' said Lewman, whose coaching career began in 1990, when he helped coach an eighth grade team. 'I've coached high school and small-college football for over 20 years.'
This is Lewman's first season as a head coach.
'I've been second in a lot of [football coaching] opportunities that I've applied for over the last 10 years,' he said. 'I love working with young people and helping them become great young men in society.'
Lewman assisted on a voluntary basis in programs at Clackamas, Lakeridge and Oregon City from 2001 through 2006, and he was offensive coordinator at Oregon City in 2007 and 2008. He helped out at Lewis and Clark College in 2009.
He's also coached at Rogue River, North Valley and Hidden Valley high schools, and he's been an instructor at Taylor Barton Football Academy camps every year since 2000.
He's also worked the Velocity Sports training facility in Hillsboro.
'I've had the opportunity to work for and with some great football coaches,' Lewman said.
When he's not coaching football, Lewman works as a construction superintendent for Portland-based Walsh Construction.
Lewman replaces longtime coach Brian Freitag, who retired from coaching.