Go to List of Family Names Go to List of People < Previous Next >
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 heart."
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 blessing.
"Terry is truly a gift from God to all of us at Archbishop Murphy," Brynildsen-Smith said.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 his life."
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 Guzmán.
"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 community involvement.
"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 died.
When people ask Joe Ennis what it was like to be the son of the famous football coach, Joe answers with a
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 ()
Produced by Fzip 1.7 9/12/2017