Van Leeuwen

Ridgeline head football coach Travis Van Leeuwen celebrates a touchdown against Pine View earlier this season.

For the second year in a row the Riverhawks will have a new football coach.

Travis Van Leeuwen was “let go” as the head coach at Ridgeline High School. He had just completed his first year at the helm a week ago when the Riverhawks lost in the second round of the 4A state playoffs, 38-7, against Dixie. Ridgeline won a playoff game at home in the first round, 48-13, against Hurricane.

Several people contacted The Herald Journal late Thursday night and Friday morning about the status of Van Leeuwen. Ridgeline Athletic Director Mike Hansen confirmed Friday afternoon the football coach was no longer with the Riverhawks. He could not give any details.

Principal Brittany Foster was in a meeting when attempts were made to get a comment.

Ridgeline went 4-8 during the 2019 season, enduring a seven-game losing streak after winning the first two games to start the year. The Riverhawks failed to win a region game this season.

Van Leeuwen spent his first year as a head high school football coach at Logan for the 2018 season. The Grizzlies went from winning just two games in 2017 to finishing second in the region and having an overall record of 9-2, but were upset in the first round of the 4A state playoffs.

Before becoming a head coach Van Leeuwen was an assistant coach at Sky View High School. He is a former collegiate player at Utah State University, having played wide receiver for the Aggies and graduating in 2013.

Van Leeuwen was teaching physical education at Ridgeline. His teaching status at the school was not clear as of press time Friday night.

Current Sky View head coach Christopher Howell began the program at Ridgeline when it opened in 2016. After three seasons he left to take over the Bobcats.

Van Leeuwen jumped at the opportunity to move at Ridgeline, telling The Herald Journal: “You know, when my wife and I first moved back into the valley a few years ago, Ridgeline was new ... and I always joked around with my wife. I was like, ‘Man, that’s a pretty sweet school right there. That would be so fun to be able to coach there.’ And lo and behold, the opportunity presented itself, and on top of that it just felt right.

“It was really tough leaving the players behind at Logan because I had built such great relationships with them, but looking at it from a standpoint of being able to do this long-term, it just made sense to me. ... I’m excited for what’s ahead of us and we’re hoping to make some big things happen here in the future.”

Shawn Harrison is the sports editor at The Herald Journal. He can be reached at sharrison@hjnews.com or 435-792-7233.

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