Nalin Sood’s 37-year coaching career comes to a close

The Hawks’ most successful head men’s basketball coach in the school’s 64-year history says “It’s time”
Head coach Nalin Sood greeting a player on the court at the WIAA 3A state basketball championship.
Head coach Nalin Sood greeting a player on the court at the WIAA 3A state basketball championship.
©HAWKEYE image credit: Hawkeye Staff

“I can’t put into words how proud I am. They [the men’s basketball team] know how proud I am. If they don’t, then they don’t know me,” men’s basketball head coach Nalin Sood said after the Hawks defeated Garfield H.S. for 4th place at the 2024 WIAA 3A state basketball championship.
This was the last game of the season, and unbeknownst to most, Sood’s last game as head coach.

The Hawks gather for a team photo following their 65-54 victory over Garfield to earn 4th place at the 3A WIAA state championships at the Tacoma Dome. (©HAWKEYE image credit: Hawkeye Staff)

He has been the most successful of all head coaches, leading his team to the state tournament 15 times during his 24 year career at the helm. Sood has spent the last 41 years of his life in the basketball program as a player, with 37 of those years as a coach. With his leadership, he has led teams to 381 wins. Sood was also inducted into the Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association (WIBCA) Hall of Fame in 2018, 11 years after previous coach Roger Ottmar.
Over the years, he’s gained countless accolades beyond basketball. With both a Masters and Bachelors’ degree in Business Technology, he will remain in the classroom at Terrace as the teacher for personal finance and business math.
Since he began his position as head coach at Mountlake Terrace in the winter sports season of 2000-2001, he became just the third head coach the school was founded in 1960. Before he took on the position, he assisted Roger Ottmar for 13 years. Merle Blevins was the Hawks’ original head coach. Blevins led the Hawks to their only state title in 1977. Under Sood, the Hawks have finished as high as 3rd.

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About the Contributor
Terina Papatu
Terina Papatu, Hawkeye Co-Editor-in-Chief
After joining in her freshman year (2021), Terina Papatu developed a love for all things journalism. She originally joined on accident to tell the truth, but as of her junior year she is Co-Editor-in-Chief. In the future, she plans to study reporter journalism and become a writer professionally, and currently loves to help her friends with their writing as well. When not working on Hawkeye, she loves listening to music and reports for Ground Zero Radio. This year, Terina plans to make HSM an inclusive space as well as being a representation she didn’t have before.
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