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ENNIS Terry John
Birth: 27 Jan 1944 Everett, Snohomish Co., Wash.
Death: 12 Sep 2007 Seattle, Wash.
Cause of Death: cancer
Ennis Fam Tree on ancestry
Legendary coach Ennis passes away
Daily Herald, The (Everett, WA) — Friday, September 14, 2007
Archbishop Murphy High School football coach Terry Ennis passed away at 2:30 a.m.
Sept. 12 at the University of Washington Hospital from cancer.
Ennis had been battling prostate cancer since late 2002.
He is the state's second-winningest prep football coach with a record of 287-87. Ennis
coached three state championship teams: Cascade (1991) and Archbishop Murphy
High School (2002, 2003). He was elected to the Pacific Northwest Football Hall of
Fame in 2007.
Ennis is survived by his wife Fran, son Joe Ennis, daughters Jenny Leger and Amy
Schaffler. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Last February, Archbishop Murphy announced the dedication of the school football
stadium as "Terry Ennis Stadium" at a surprise ceremony in the school gymnasium.
"I'm rarely overwhelmed," Ennis told the audience of coaching peers, players past and
present, and others touched by the iconic coach's deeds, "and this is probably the
most overwhelming day of my life, and I just thank everybody from the bottom of my
In 1999, Ennis approached Archbishop Murphy principal Kristine Brynildsen-Smith
about starting a football program. He began with a group of inexperienced boys who
didn't even know how to put on pads, let alone make a tackle.
But since then Archbishop Murphy, a Catholic private school, has grown into a state
power, winning five straight league titles.
Speakers praised Ennis, who also served as Archbishop Murphy's athletic director
before taking a leave of absence this year, calling him persistent, inspiring and a
"Terry is truly a gift from God to all of us at Archbishop Murphy," Brynildsen-Smith
After thanking everyone for attending, Ennis said that he had made a lot of decisions
in his life, not all of them wise. But one of his best choices, he said, was asking his
wife to marry him. The other: coming to Archbishop Murphy.
Ennis, a 1962 Everett High graduate, previously coached at Jesuit High (Portland),
Stanwood, Bellarmine Prep, Renton and Cascade high schools. His Cascade teams
won 10 league titles.
The Archbishop Murphy football team grew from 35 players in the fall of 2000 to 103
players in 2006. During this time the student body has grown from 200 students in
1999 to more than 500 students in 2007.
Ennis was the son of the late Jim Ennis, a longtime Everett High football coach,
Everett School District administrator and the namesake of Jim Ennis Field House at
Everett Memorial Stadium.
John Allen, a legendary coach who mentored Ennis at Jesuit High in Portland, Ore.,
said at the stadium dedication ceremony that Ennis does things the right way and used
football as a vehicle to help people succeed today and in the future.
Allen, who met Ennis in 1967, paraphrased a famous line from poet T.S. Eliot that
reminded him of Ennis' traits, such as determination, drive and attention to detail:
"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."
Daily Herald, The (Everett, WA) — Friday, September 14, 2007
Terry Ennis honored
Sometimes words from a song perfectly sum up a collective sentiment.
There's a lyric from the tune "For Good" from the musical "Wicked" that goes,
"Because I knew you … I have been changed for good." Two vocalists and a pianist
performed the song at the start of the two-hour memorial service for football coach
Terry Ennis Sept. 23 at the Archbishop Murphy High School gymnasium.
Judging by the 2,000-plus people who showed up to remember Ennis and celebrate his
many achievements on and off the field, Ennis, who died of cancer Sept. 12, clearly
changed their lives for good.
Family members, friends, former and current players, and many others gathered to
share sorrow but also to hear and tell stories about a beloved man who everyone
agreed was much more than a successful gridiron coach.
Many of the most resounding, insightful comments at the memorial came from Ennis'
three children: Jenny Leger, Amy Schaffler and Joe Ennis. Their job, Leger said, was
to give a "complete portrait" of their father, a man known widely for guiding teams to
287 victories in 36 seasons and ranking No. 2 on the state's career wins list.
Football meant a lot to Ennis, Leger said, but "family meant the world to dad." And
"family" wasn't limited to blood relatives for Ennis, who Leger said frequently invited
underprivileged students to live at his home.
Recalling an experience from when she was 8, Leger said two of her favorite
unexpected guests were Iranian exchange students. Ennis took them in after he
learned they were constantly struggling to find food and adequate shelter. He did it
amid the Iran hostage crisis, when tension between America and Iran was sky high.
Ennis' gesture taught his children acceptance of others and instilled a sense of
compassion, said Leger.
"He didn't instruct with words," she said. "He showed with action."
Ennis, a 1962 Everett High graduate who had battled prostate cancer nearly five
years, coached Archbishop Murphy to a victory just four days before he passed away.
He ended his retirement from coaching in 2000 to start Archbishop Murphy's program
in 2000. Previously he had been head coach at Stanwood, Bellarmine Prep, Renton
and Cascade. Three of Ennis' teams won state championships: Cascade (1991) and
Archbishop Murphy (2002 and 2003).
Some might wonder why Ennis didn't step away from the game when his health
declined so severely. But Ennis' children said their father's love for the game and the
people he met by coaching kept him going until the end.
Originally Ennis planned to become a lawyer, said Schaffler, Ennis' other daughter.
But ultimately he chose to follow the same path as his father, Jim Ennis, and became a
coach and teacher.
It wasn't necessarily because Terry Ennis loved football. According to Joe Ennis,
Terry's son, when asked if he had fun coaching, the notoriously grim-faced, sideline-
prowling coach said, "No, not really. But it's who I am." Joe said his dad told him the
best part -- the real reason he coached -- was to get to know student-athletes and
watch them go on to bigger and better things.
Speaking of big, Terry Ennis wasn't. Although he was a standout athlete at Everett
High and later at what's now called Santa Clara University, Ennis was slim and "5-7,
maybe," said Schaffler.
It didn't matter. Ennis was a giant in other ways.
"My dad was not a tall man," Schaffler said, "but there was nothing small about him or
Proof of that claim was the massive audience, which overflowed from the gym into two
other large rooms on campus where the service was televised. The crowd was a
"who's who" collection of well-known coaches, administrators and officials from the
county and across the state.
Football coaches in attendance included Dick Abrams (Stanwood High), Mark Perry
(Snohomish High), Mark Stewart (Meadowdale) and Eric Dinwiddie (Granite Falls). Also
there were former Cascade High boys basketball coaches Charlie Cobb and Jerry
Koester, both members of the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches
Association Hall of Fame.
Archbishop Murphy players past and present showed up, including former stars like
Axel Wolff, Stan Smith, David Sinex and Nick Snyder. Kennedy High of Burien brought
a bus full of players and coaches. About 20 of Ennis' former Santa Clara teammates
flew in from all over the U.S.
A stirring example of Ennis' impact came in a letter from Gov. Chris Gregoire. Read
aloud by Archbishop Murphy principal Dr. Kristine Brynildsen-Smith, Gregoire's
message said Ennis' legacy of victory and personal excellence are an inspiration.
Arizona State University head football Dennis Erickson, who grew up idolizing Ennis,
was unable to attend but sent a football signed by his players.
Ennis gained many admirers because of his perseverance, respect for others,
preparedness and sacrificial love, said Archbishop Murphy Chaplain Father Armando
"Terry touched many hearts -- many young hearts," Guzmán said.
With an energetic personality and a creative mind, Ennis was an effective promoter of
his teams. Sometimes he went too far though. While at Cascade, Ennis once appeared
with uniformed Bruins players in a commercial for a local grocery store. The goofy TV
ad, which was shown at the memorial, broke state athletic rules and resulted in
Cascade being put on probation by the Washington Interscholastic Activities
Former Cascade principal Gary Axtell recalled the incident with a laugh, noting that
most of Ennis' ideas were less problematic and almost always life-enriching. An
example is the Bruin Buddies program Ennis helped start. It matched high school
football players with local elementary school students, promoting athletic pride and
"We are all better for having known you," Axtell said, addressing Ennis. "You leave
behind a legacy that we will all cherish."
The legacy grows daily.
The Archbishop Murphy football team is 2-0 since Ennis' death. The Wildcats blasted
Coupeville 60-22 Sept. 14 on Whidbey Island, two days after Ennis passed away, and
they shut out Cedarcrest 28-0 Friday at Terry Ennis Stadium, which in February was
named in honor of the coach. Archbishop Murphy is now 4-0 this season and ranked
No. 3 in the Washington Preps.com Class 2A poll released Wednesday.
For Joe Ennis, the coach's son who played for Ennis at Cascade, his dad's legacy was
monumental. Joe said he lost a friend, a leader, a coach and a dad when Terry Ennis
When people ask Joe Ennis what it was like to be the son of the famous football
coach, Joe answers with a single word:
Mike Cane writes for The Herald in Everett.
Daily Herald, The (Everett, WA) - Friday, September 28, 2007
pub rec on ancestry 1415 Madrona Ave., Everett, Wash.
ENNIS James (23 Feb 1913 - 8 Aug 1990)
KIICHLI Ann Elizabeth (20 Sep 1912 - 18 Feb 2007)
ENNIS James Joseph (26 Mar 1935 - 21 May 2003)
ENNIS Antonia (Toni) ()
ENNIS Roseanne (1942 - 1994)
ENNIS Terry John (27 Jan 1944 - 12 Sep 2007)
ENNIS Molly K. ()
Marriage To ----- Mary Fran (Fran) ()
Children by ----- Mary Fran (Fran)
ENNIS Amy T. ()
ENNIS Joseph C. ()
ENNIS Jennifer Page ()
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