Sunday, January 18, 2015

Brett Oberzan the new head coach at SM South

Brett Oberzan. LJWorld.
The fifth, and final Sunflower League head coaching vacancy was filled this weekend when Lawrence Free State defensive coordinator Brett Oberzan accepted the head coaching job at SM South.

Oberzan is a Sunflower League veteran, through and through. His introduction to the league came with Lawrence High during their hay-days in the late 1980s, where he starred as a wide receiver.

After graduating from LHS, Oberzan played football at Emporia State in the early 1990s. Following his time at Emporia, he ventured to East Bay (FL) High School in Tampa, where he served as an assistant football coach for close to a decade.

Oberzan came back to Kansas in the early 2000s, and settled in at Free State, where he's served as the defensive coordinator for the last 11 seasons.

Oberzan replaces former SM South head coach, Ryan Lonergan, who walked away in December following a record of 13-24 from 2011 to 2014.

In his time at Free State, Oberzan has coached multiple defenders who went FBS, including Christian Ballard, Fred Wyatt and Joe Dineen, among others.

His trademark with the Firebirds has been an attacking 3-5-3 scheme not often seen in the high school ranks. One would imagine his first line of schematic business at SM South will be installing the defensive approach.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

McCartney named head coach at Olathe North

Chris McCartney
On Thursday, Olathe North announced the promotion of assistant coach Chris McCartney from defensive coordinator to head coach.

McCartney is Olathe North's fifth head football coach since 2003. He will be replacing head coaching legend Gene Wier, who in December joined David Beaty's coaching staff at the University of Kansas.

If anybody knows a thing or two about the prestige of the Olathe North football program, it's McCartney.

He joined the program as an assistant coach in 1996, and has spent 19 seasons with the Eagles, including the past 11 as the defensive coordinator.

In that time McCartney was part of the program's eight state championships and 10 state title game appearances

Last fall Olathe North finished 11-1, losing to eventual 6A champion SM East in Sub-State. It was Olathe North's second consecutive trip to Sub-State, and their fifth Sub-State appearance in the last eight seasons.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Owen to take over at Olathe East

Jesse Owen.
Eudora head coach Jesse Owen is leaving the Cardinals to take the head coaching position at Olathe East.

The Olathe School Board unanimously approved the hire on Thursday night, effectively ushering in a new era for the Olathe East football program.

The second-year head coach will replace Jeff Meyers, who had been the head coach of Olathe East since the school opened its doors in 1992.

Owen had been the head coach at Class 4A Eudora for just one season, leading the team to a 5-4 record in 2014.

Prior to that, Owen spent 13 years as an assistant coach at Olathe North, after joining the staff in 2003. He was a coach on two state title teams with the Eagles.

Perhaps Owen's greatest claim to fame with Olathe North came as a member of the program's vaunted 1996 6A state championship team, which was the first title team in program history.

The senior linebacker, and one of the team's undisputed leaders, helped lead Olathe North to a 12-0 record that year, helping to defeat Wichita Northwest in the state title game. His infamous 68-yard punt return for a touchdown in the game came be seen the 10:00-minute mark of this Youtube video.

With the hiring of Owen, three of the five Sunflower League head coaching vacancies have been filled. Ben Bartlett had the interim tag removed at SM North, and Bo Black was hired on at SM Northwest.

Openings remain at Olathe North and SM South.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Bo Black named head coach at SM Northwest

Bo Black
Bo Black was officially named SM Northwest's head football coach on Tuesday.

He takes over for Linn Hibbs, who resigned from the position in early December after going 7-21 in three seasons.

Black spent the 2014 season as the head coach at Hays (KS) High School. Led by K-State quarterback commit Alex Delton, the team finished the season 7-2.

Prior to his one season at Hays, Black served as the head coach at Great Bend (KS) High School, compiling a record of 82-47 in 13 seasons. The highlight of his tenure in Great Bend was a Class 5A Runner-Up finish in 2006.

Black takes over a SM Northwest football program that's hard to figure out, to say the least. While the Cougars have produced as much talent as any program (in 2010 they had three alums -- Ryan Lilja, Mike Rivera, and Ryan Torain, on NFL rosters) they can't seem to pool together more than a few years of success at any given time,

In the 15 seasons since 2000, the program has twice made it to Sectionals -- in 2003 and 2007. Aside from those two years, they've finished with winning records in just three of the other 13 seasons.

Black, the program's fourth head coach since 2005, has his fair share of work ahead of him, but there's perhaps no greater sleeping giant in the Sunflower League than SM Northwest.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Wier to leave Olathe North for position at Kansas

Gene Wier. Photo KC Star.
Multiple reports indicate Olathe North head coach Gene Wier is leaving his post with the Eagles to take a football operations position on David Beaty's staff at the University of Kansas.

Wier, a long time high school coaching legend in the state of Kansas, led Olathe North to an 11-1 record and a Sub-State berth this past fall. It was the Eagles' second Sub-State berth in as many years.

This is the second time Wier has elected to leave his post as Olathe North head coach.

In 2003, following a string of six state championships in seven seasons, Wier left to take the head coaching job at Richland (TX) High School, in Fort Worth.

Wier spent nine seasons as the head football coach and athletic director at Richland, going 42-51 on the gridiron.

He returned to Olathe North in 2012 following former head coach Pete Floods' resignation at the conclusion of the 2011 season.

The veteran Wier began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Olathe High School (now known as Olathe North) in 1975, and served as an assistant coach through 1981, when he took over as head coach.

In his first stint with the Eagles -- which lasted 22 years -- Wier compiled a 188-36 record, winning Class 6A state titles in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2002.

In his latest term at Olathe North, the Eagles compiled a 22-12 record, including two Sub-State berths.

Assuming his days as a head coach are over, the 66-year-old Wier finished his head coaching career with a record of 252-99, split between Kansas and Texas.