Eric Mahlum // HEAD FOOTBALL COACH / OFFENSIVE LINE
Coach Mahlum graduated from UC Berkeley, where he was a 3-year starter and All-Pac 12 offensive lineman. In 1994, He was a second round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts, and spent four seasons in the NFL. He has been a high school football coach for the last 15 years, and took over as Liberty’s head coach in 2008. During his time as a high school coach, he has coached at all levels of the high school program; an offensive and special teams coordinator, and coached all positions at one time or another on the offensive side of the ball. He loves leading the Liberty program, because of the supportive community, a passionate staff that really cares about the players, and the dedication our players put into being the best they can be. Off the field, Coach Mahlum enjoys spending time with his family. Eric and his wife Becky (of 20 years) have three kids: Mitchell (10), Elise (9) and Claire (9).
Eric Givens // ASSISTANT HEAD COACH / DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
Coach Given has been teaching for 19 years and coaching for 24, and truly enjoys his profession. He attended Michigan State, Boise State, and Western Oregon. He coaches both football and wrestling. Eric and his wife Wendy have been happily married for 22 years, and have two kids; son Jordan/Scooter, Liberty High (15) and daughter Hayden, Southern Oregon (18). Coach Givens is known around school as the teacher who will do anything if a student asks.
Scott Keck // OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR / QUARTERBACKS
Coach Keck has been teaching for 19 years, and coaching football for 29. Coach Keck has been here at the school since it opened and truly loves the Liberty Community. He believes students and staff are what makes his job so enjoyable. Coach Keck and his wife Marianne have been married for 19 years and they have three children; Shay (14), Allison (12), and Peyton (9).
John “JB” BARNES // HEAD STRENGTH & CONDITIONING COACH / DEFENSIVE BACKS
Coach John “JB” Barnes played college football at the University of Arkansas one year before transferring to the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff where he started three years as a strong/free safety. He went on to play defensive back in the AFL and CFL and mini camp with the Kansas City Chiefs. Coach Barnes is the Falcons Head Strength and Conditioning Coach and Defensive Backs Coach. In the summer of 2015 and 2016, Coach Barnes was given the opportunity to coach Defensive Backs at the Nike Regional Combine and the Nike final Opening. He is also the founder/owner of Pro Baller Fitness which caters to speed agility training, personal training, youth fitness training, and sports specific training.
Carl Saunders // DEFENSIVE LINE
Coach Saunders attended Liberty High School from 2003-2007 as part of the first graduating class to attend all four years at Liberty. He was one of the school’s first 12-sport athletes, participating in football, basketball, track, and lacrosse. Coach Saunders attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, where he played football and lacrosse and majored in mechanical engineering. He coached lacrosse for two years in Michigan, and this is his 4th season coaching both football and lacrosse at Liberty. Coach Saunders is not currently married and enjoys spending time with his three beautiful dogs.
Roger Pinder // FULLBACKS
Coach Pinder is a teacher of 11 years and a coach for 12. He attended Santa Clara University (CA) and Pacific University (OR). He is very passionate about working with these men as they grow and develop as student/athletes. It is truly amazing to watch them enter the program being unsure of what will be expected out of them, and by the middle of the season they have improved self-confidence. The relationships that the coaches have the privilege to develop with the players and their families is truly amazing. Coach Pinder considers himself truly blessed to receive a nickname from the players each year. Roger has two kids, a son Tyrell (30) a daughter Brianna (26) and two grandchildren, Sean (6) and Cheyenne (1).
Jose Benitez // OFFENSIVE LINE
Jose Benitez started coaching Liberty Youth Football over 11 years ago with his sons Bryant and Jose Jr. He has a passion for teaching and motivating young men to be honorable men first, football players second. As a coach, not only does he make it a point to be involved with his players at practice, but also teaches the value of being successful in school and engaged in the community. He actively reaches out to the teachers and parents of his youth players to make sure they are successful in school and at home. Jose has been a part of the Liberty Football and Lacrosse Community for many years and we look forward to many more.
Christian Chavez // SLOTBACKS
Coach Chavez has been teaching for 11 years. He attended Oregon State University and Western Oregon. He has previously coached both football and wrestling. As a 2nd year teacher at Liberty he is excited to be part of the Liberty High School community and for the opportunity to work with a great staff and student body.
John Strode // DEFENSIVE LINE
Coach Strode has been a volunteer coach since 2004 for baseball, softball, football, and just recently wrestling. He is a former Marine and greatly enjoys having the opportunity to give back to the community through coaching. John and his wife Carolynn have been married 18 years and have two children; Chase (18), who will be attending Pacific where he will also play football and Faith (16) who is a sophomore here at Liberty. Coach Strode is employed by Intel, and his hobbies include his family and coaching.
Marcus Wells // WIDE RECEIVERS
Coach Wells is originally from Seattle, WA where he played Quarterback for 3 years (2 as a starter) and graduated from Rainier Beach HS. After High School, he was a walk on at Portland State University where he played Wide Receiver for 2 years. While being a student athlete in college, Coach Wells studied Physical Activity and Sports Sciences. Marcus has a passion for photography and to become a personal trainer and open up a chain of fitness centers. In addition to coaching football, Coach Wells is a Special Education Assistant at Liberty HS and Head JV2 Basketball Coach.
Robert Essig // DEFENSIVE ASSISTANT
Coach Essig attended Merced High School and played football, as well as running track for 4 years. He has spent 11 years playing football as well as an additional 2 years coaching. He graduated from the University of Merced, California with a Bachelors degree in Business Economics. Off of the field, he works at Nike World Headquarters and has lived in Oregon since 2014. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, gardening, and being in the company of his girlfriend, Aja, who has been by his side for 3 years.
Angella Bond // HEAD TRAINER
Angella graduated from Pacific University in 2002, where she earned a degree in Exercise Science with and emphasis in Sports Medicine and a minor in coaching. She also played on the Pacific University women’s soccer team for 2 years. Angella, began working for Tuality Community Hospital in 2002 and through the Tuality sports medicine outreach program became Liberty’s athletic trainer in 2004 and has been caring for all the athletes ever since. When Angella is not taking care of the athletes, she is spending time with her husband of nine years, Erik, and their two daughters Addilynn (7), and Kinsley (2.5). She also enjoy going camping and spending time with family and friends.