Head Football Coach Jay Locey Retires
Lewis & Clark Pioneers Head Football Coach Jay Locey has retired following two of the most successful seasons in a decade, Director of Physical Education and Athletics Mark Pietrok announced on Friday. Pietrok also announced assistant head coach Joe Bushman will lead the Pioneers this fall.
Under Locey’s leadership, the Pioneers achieved their largest win totals since 2012 in each of the last two years and won the Wagon Wheel traveling trophy four straight seasons for the first time since 1989-92.
“Coach Locey has created a new era of Lewis & Clark football and followed through on his commitment to building our program,” Pietrok said. “We are thankful to Jay for leading our student-athletes over the last seven seasons, and excited that Coach Bushman and the current staff will provide a seamless transition to sustain that success.”
“I want to thank the entire Lewis & Clark community for the pleasure of working with great people and with an incredible group of student-athletes,” Locey said. “By community, I mean our administration, faculty, staff, coaches, alums, families and student-athletes. This is an excellent institution and a great place to be.
“I feel very positive about the progress that was made in building this program. I want to thank all of our players and coaches for their blood, sweat and tears over the last seven years and every person that has ever been a part of the Lewis & Clark football program. In making these gains, we are not where we want to be yet, but I believe the program with our current staff and team is on the threshold of a very bright future.”
With Locey leading the program, the Pioneers won at least three games in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2011-12 and produced two of only five seasons with at least three victories since 2004. Following the four-win 2019 campaign, Lewis & Clark had its first student-athlete, Cameron Chang, named to the All-West Region team since 2011.
The Pioneers offense ramped up in both 2019 and 2021, the first two seasons with Bushman as offensive coordinator. Lewis & Clark’s 29.3 points per game and 2,260 passing yards in 2021 are the program’s most in each category since 2011 and 2013, respectively.
“I am grateful to Coach Locey for giving me the opportunity to coach at Lewis & Clark and show me the ins and outs of coaching the college game,” Bushman said. “He is a great mentor and role model for young men. The program has made some really nice strides during his tenure, and I was fortunate to be part of it the last few years.”
A former quarterback, Bushman won a high school state title with Benson in 1988 and earned Academic All-America honors at Willamette, from where he graduated in 1993. In 2017, Bushman led Clackamas to its first-ever championship in Oregon’s largest high school division and was named Oregon 6A Coach of the Year.
The offense reached several milestones in Bushman’s first two seasons. Among them, in the 2021 home opener, the Pios scored their third-most points in any game in history and totaled 316 rushing yards, their most since at least 2011. In 2019, Aidan Verba-Hamilton broke a 17-year-old record when he totaled 331 receiving yards on nine receptions in one game and went on to average 24.2 yards per reception for the season, the eighth-best total in the country.
Locey ends his time at Lewis & Clark with 95 wins as an NCAA Division III football coach, a top-40 total among active coaches, and five Northwest Conference Coach of the Year honors. He spent 10 years as the head coach of Linfield and nearly a decade on the football staff at his alma mater, Oregon State.