David (Dave) Enslow: Longtime high school football coach played on two UW Rose Bowl teams

David Columbus Enslow 

(January 24,1938 – November 1,2023) 

David Columbus Enslow lived a full and meaningful life.

An obituary is not befitting such a man, as he was dearly loved, and the relationships that he formed and people he touched are a better testament to his legacy than anything that could be written on a page.

He was known by many names: David (Dave) Columbus Enslow. The Bear, Baldy, and Decon. Brother, son, uncle, cousin, nephew, husband, Dear. Patio Cowboy, old time Fiddler, Santa, teacher, Mr Enslow, Coach. Ploppa, Daddy-O, Papa Grande, papa, daddy, Dad….

David was born to Edith Loretta Handley and David Columbus Enslow in Chelan, Washington. During World War II he moved to Kirkland where he grew up along with his older sister “Dolly” and younger brother Dan. He grew up loving country music; Sons of the Pioneers, Marty Robbins, Patsy Cline, Bob WIlls, and Western Swing.

At 10 years old he was struck with polio, but outlasted it to become a tremendous athlete. Enslow was a three sport letterman at Lake Washington High School and graduated in 1956. Dave was named to the high school all-state football team, was an all-King County choice in baseball, and won third place in State as captain of the wrestling team.

He would go on to the University of Washington to play offensive tackle and nose-guard for legendary Husky football coach Jim Owens, as well as wrestle at 190 pounds. He had received a scholarship under Darrel Royal, who was the recruiting coach for UW. He pledged Phi Delta Theta, pledge class Tauhros, where many lifelong friendships began. He was an integral part of two Rose Bowl teams in 1960 and 1961, one of which was UW’s first National Championship team. The team was later elected to the Husky Hall of Fame in 1994. He was captain of the wrestling team, was a 6 time consecutive NW Freestyle champion,  and then became the head coach soon after graduating. He was also a graduate assistant on the football team coaching staff in 1962. He graduated with a master’s degree in Mathematics and Physical Education and was an Oval Club and Fir-Tree honoree. He served in the National Guard from 1955-1962 as well.

Enslow also played semi-pro football for the Edmonds Warriors (1962-66) and the Seattle Ramblers (‘66 and ‘67), who were undefeated NW Champs for four years with 4 consecutive wins over the California champs. Dave was All League and team Outstanding Defensive Lineman. He was also a player and coach for the UW Alumni team (1961-’77).

Dave became the math teacher and Head Football Coach at East Bremerton High School, for the next 4 years, where he led the football program to their first football championship in school history. One of his former players said he was “ a much needed, tough footballer; challenging, good and supportive teacher, and a model big brother/father figure to us teenagers.” Enslow was also the head wrestling coach for East Bremerton’s champion team during the same time.

For six years (66-72) Dave was the Head Coach at Mercer Island High School, where he guided them to a 9-1 record and Mercer Island’s first KingCo Championship in 1971. He was named “Coach of the Year” in 1972 by the Washington State Coach’s Association, to which he claimed the team “was underrated, and the coach was overrated.” Voted on by the coaches association, it was said that “the award was not based on the win-loss record, but on the personal character and integrity of the coach.” Enslow also served as the District Athletic Director and wrestling coach.

Dave was also successful in real estate during this time, investing in multiple properties, until the failure of the Boeing Supersonic Jet devastated the Seattle economy.

In 1974, Dave met his love, Maryanne Lorenz, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. They were married the same year and immediately started a family. They were blessed with four beloved children; David, John, Mary, and Bob. His children loved him dearly, as he loved them. He continued his teaching and coaching career in Richland, Washington before settling with his family in Edmonds, where he continued his career at Chimacum, Shelton, Ingram, and then O’dea High School. In 1991, under head Coach Enslow, O’dea won their first Metro title to begin a lasting program.

While painting Holy Rosary Church in Edmonds (1991), Dave fell off a ladder causing a severe head injury, nearly ending his life, and cutting his career short. He was divorced from his wife and he looked to music as a refuge. He started playing the autoharp regularly during this time and became a member of the Old Time Fiddlers and a self proclaimed “Patio Cowboy”. He played with the fiddlers, along with his brother Dan at many different venues in Washington. In 1994, Dave was elected to the Pacific NW Football Hall of Fame and was part of the executive committee for many years.

In 2014 he was remarried to the love of his life, Maryanne, who joined him in playing music and watching their own kids and grandchildren (Columbus, Indiana, Margaux and Louisiana) grow. He survived a triple bypass surgery, persistent back pain, and then prostate cancer, none of which were a tough enough match for the Bear.

Dave Enslow will not merely be remembered for his accomplishments, but for the manner in which he lived life. He was bold but humble. He was strong and generous; he would give you the shirt off of his back and the hat off of his head. He was faithful, but not pious. He would often exclaim, “Oh, Praise the Lord!” He didn’t know a stranger and everywhere he went somebody knew him. Until his last day, he greeted everyone that came toward him with a smile. The people that he reached during his life gave him great purpose and he lived a life that made the world better. He was a really good man.

One night, he went to sleep, and when he awoke, he was in heaven…

“Well done, good and faithful servant; Enter into the joy of your lord.”

Services will be at Holy Rosary in Edmonds, WA, Thursday, November 30
10:00am – Rosary
10:30 – Service
11:40-2:00 Reception
2:30 Interment

All are Welcome…

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