If you were trying to build a great football coach from scratch, you'd be hard-pressed to do better than R.A. Long Hall of Fame inductee Ed Laulainen. During a 34-year coaching career at Kelso High School, including 25 years as head football coach, Laulainen posted a record of 182 victories, 69 defeats and one tie (a winning percentage of 72 percent). The Kelso football team won the state title in 1983. Laulainen was named Washington Interscholastic Activities Association boys' sports coach of the year for that accomplishment. In 1984, The Associated Press selected Laulainen as its state football coach of the year. Besides the title game, Laulainen guided the Scotties to two state semifinal and eight state quarterfinal appearances. Kelso won 9 league titles and posted four unbeaten regular seasons. He was chosen league coach of the year eight times. Laulainen also served as assistant wrestling coach at Kelso for 17 years, head baseball coach for one season and a baseball assistant for eight. Laulainen's induction into the RAL Hall of Fame is his third such honor. In 1988 he was named to the Lower Columbia College Hall and in 1994 he gained entry into the Washington State Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. In 2009, he was named the Lower Columbia Area All-Century Team as football coach. In 2013, Kelso named its football stadium after Laulainen. Laulainen spent two years on the National Federation of High School Coaches Board of Directors. That same organization named Laulainen the Western Regional Coach of the Year in 1991. He also received the National Federation’s Distinguished Service Award for the five western states. His connection to the Washington State Coaches Association spanned 50 years. He spent three years as its president. He was also a member of the WSCA Executive Board (35 years), represented the WSCA on the WIAA Executive Board (32 years), State In-Service Director (10 years) and clinic coordinator for WSFCA (17 years). Laulainen founded the Kelso Youth Football program in 1973 for kids in grades 4-6. He attended Kessler Elementary, Monticello Junior High, R.A. Long High School (1954-56), Lower Columbia College and Eastern Washington University. He served four years in the military with two tours of Korea and one tour of Japan. Ed and his wife of 51 years Beverly live in Longview and have a daughter Susan and her husband Ron and a son Dr. Ed Laulainen and wife Kristin. They also have one granddaughter Quinn and two grandsons Brady and Jack.
HoF Lifetime Achievement