The Summit Storm boys soccer team is once again expected to compete for a state title, but this season they’ll be led by a new coach. He knows a little something about winning state titles.
In Washington state, they called Tom Bunnell “Teflon Tom.” And sticking with “The Godfather” theme — just when Tom thought he was out, they pulled him back in.
Bunnell had a legendary career as the girls head coach at Issaquah High School in the suburbs of Seattle. It was a storybook ending in 2017.
“I finished my high school coaching with a state championship, so it was it was really cool and it was a perfect way to end it,” Bunnell said.
It was actually his 5th state title. His teams reached the title game in nine of his 14 years at the helm.
Fast forward to today and Bunnell is back, coming out of retirement to lead what is already one of the best boys high school programs in Oregon: The Summit Storm.
“You never know how much you miss something until … just the classic,” Bunnell said.
“I honestly have not been this excited about coaching in a long, long time. So I’m just I can’t wait.”
Expectations are high for Bunnell. And his players feel the same.
“I think we get a lot of talent here in Bend, which can be surprising because we’re not as big as maybe a Salem or Portland, but we have good talent, we have good coaches and I think everyone here wants to win,” said midfielder Bowen Teuber.
“I think we’re obviously in a period of change with the new coach, but I think our goals remain the same. We want to win the league title and then win a state title,” said defender Ryder Poulin.
“I see the program only going up from here. We’ve had successful seasons in the past, but I see a promising team this year and I’m excited for the future,” said midfielder Tommy Carrol.
The Storm won state at the 6A level in 2021 but were upset in the state 5A semifinals last year. This year, all eyes will be on “Teflon Tom” as he tries to “settle all family business” and get the Storm back on top.
“I love coaching high school. I met these guys. I met the captains and I was like, ‘OK, this is going to be cool,” Bunnell said.