GKCFCA Hall of Fame

 

Kansas City has a long and grand tradition of high school football. For more than 100 years the Metro and surrounding areas have produced some of the top teams, players and coaches.

The Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association is honoring that history with a new Hall of Fame that has begun this season. The GKCFCA Hall of Fame will honor players, coaches and contributors with a new class each year.

The Hall of Fame will have a permanent home at Arrowhead Stadium with the inductees from each year listed on a special display.

People are eligible for the Hall of Fame in four categories: Pioneer Coach, Coach, Player and Associate. Below is the first class of the GKCFCA Hall of Fame.

2015

Pioneer Coaches

Ted Chittwood – Raytown High School

Chittwood was a pioneer of what many would say is the modern game of Kansas City High School Football.

He graduated from Northeast High School in Kansas City in 1939 before enlisting in the military. After the war he entered Missouri Valley College where he was a multi-sport star.

After graduation he moved to Raytown where he was hired as a teacher and head football coach in 1947. During his first 15 years his teams combined for a 113-26-10 record. When he retired in 1981 he had a 224-100-13 mark. His teams would win five conference championships from 1947-1953 and he finished with 12 conference titles. Chittwood passed away in 2001.

Al Davis – Rockhurst High School

Originally from Abilene, Kan. Davis came to Rockhurst in 1952 after graduating from Kansas State. He would coach the Hawklets until 1975.

During his time Rockhurst had a 154-66-13 record that included several Catholic League titles. The Hawklets traveled around the state to find games in the 1950s and 60s playing some of the top programs in the nation. When Missouri began its state championship tournament in 1969, Rockhurst would finish second in 1969 and 1973 and win the title in 1971.

In 1954 when traveling back from an out of town game the African-American players on the team were refused service in a restaurant. Coach Davis loaded his entire team back on the bus without any of them eating. Al Davis passed away in 2001.

Joe Mintner – Park Hill High School

Joe Mintner spent more than 40 years as a head and assistant football coach in the Kansas City Metro. He began his career in 1952 at Bishop Lillis where he spent 24 years as the head coach. He moved to Smithville high school in 1974 and then followed to Park Hill in 1976. He ended his head coaching career with the Trojans in 1992.

During his time he had an undefeated 10-0 season in 1964 and finished as the No. 1 ranked team in Kansas City. He also won numerous conference championships and helped more than 200 athletes gain college scholarships. He finished his career with a 235-93 record. Joe Mintner passed away in 2005.

Gennaro Mirocke – St. Joseph/St. Thomas Aquinas

The Pennsylvania native was a head coach at St. Joseph Shawnee and St. Thomas Aquinas from 1951-1995. During that time he amassed a 257-117-6 record that included five undefeated seasons, 14 trips to the Kansas playoffs from 1971-1990, a state championship in 1971 and a 44-quarter shutout streak in 1978.

He also coached basketball and track and developed a tradition that became known as “Bluestreak Football.” He was also the Kansas Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1985 and the National High School Athletics Coaches Coach of the Year in 1986.

He was also a member of the American Legion, American Football Coaches Association and served as a volunteer firefighter for 24 years severing as District Chief from 1979 until his passing in 1995.

Len Mohlman – Bishop Miege High School

Mohlman started his career at Centralia, Kan. High School and went 22-2 in two seasons before moving to Bishop Miege in 1966. For the next 12 years he led the Stags to a 79-30-1 winning state titles in 1972, 1975 and 1977. Miege was also the 1974 state runner-up.

He was selected as the head coach of the Jaycee’s All-Star Game in Wichita in 1973 and was the Kansas head coach in the first Big Brothers and Big Sisters Kansas City Metro All-Star Game held in 1976 at Arrowhead Stadium.

Mohlman also served as Athletic Director at Miege from 1972-88 helping to establish the winning tradition in many other sports besides football. He currently resides in Bonner Springs.

Joe Monachino – St. Pius X High School

The New York native came to Missouri to attend Northwest Missouri State and from there became a highly successful coach. He got his first head coaching job at St. Pius X in 1966 and stayed there until 1983. He finished his head coaching career at North Kansas City.

During his time at Pius he turned the Warriors into a small-school power winning four district titles and advancing to the state championship game in 1979 and winning the title in 1981.

He was named the Western Missouri Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 1979, won the Cecil O. Patterson Coach of the Year Award in 1982 and was inducted into the Missouri Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1996. He currently resides in Blue Springs.

Cecil Patterson – Kansas City Southeast

Patterson began his coaching career in the 1930s at Pleasant Hill winning three league titles. He would then go to his home town of Odessa where he won another league title before joining the Navy during World War II.

After the War Patterson established a dynasty at Southeast in the 1950s and 60s that saw his teams earn nine league titles. In 1958 his team was nationally ranked and only had one touchdown scored on it for the entire season.

Patterson was in the first class of coaches inducted into the Missouri Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 1992 along with Chittwood and Jefferson City’s Pete Adkins. Patterson passed away in 1989.

Larry Taylor – Shawnee Mission North High School

Taylor served as head coach at Shawnee Mission North from 1964-1978 earning a 110-31-4 record. In all he was a teacher at North for 38 years.

As the head football coach he led his teams to six state championships (1965, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1974) and was a runner up in 1977. Once the playoff system began in 1969, his teams made the postseason seven times, including three straight from 1969-71 and four straight from 1974-77.

Taylor’s 1969 team earned a 1-0 win over Shawnee Mission South in a game where neither team scored but the winner was decided by which team had moved the ball inside its opponent’s 5-yard line the most. The game led to “Kansas rule” which was the beginning of the modern overtime system we have today. Taylor currently resides in Overland Park.

Moe Werner – Bishop Ward High School

Werner was the head coach at Bishop Ward from 1966-76 finishing with a record of 78-29-3. In his first three seasons Ward went 24-2-1 that included a 19-game winning streak.

From 1971-76 the Cyclones went to five straight playoffs, four semifinals and won two championships in 1971 and 1973. Ward also won three Kansas City, Kan. League championships in 1973, 1975 and 1976. He also coached 10 First Team All-Metro players in his time. Werner passed away in 2003.

Al Woolard – Lawrence High School

Woolard built a dynasty at Lawrence retiring in 1968 as the winningest high school football coach in the nation. At Lawrence he had a record of 153-12-5 from 1950-68 that included a 47-game winning streak.

Lawrence won 10 state championships in his time including five straight from 1956-60. He was named the national coach of the year in 1957 and 1960.

Before coming to Lawrence he coached at Edna, Commerce and Nowata, Okla. finishing with a 110-27-7 record. During his time in Commerce he coached Mickey Mantle.

Woolard also served in the Army Air Corps in World War II. He passed away in 1988.

Coaches

Dave Bassore – Center/Olathe North

Bassore held many coaching positions in the Metro at both the high school and college level. He coached at Center and Olathe North along with his alma mater William Jewell College.

His impact on the sport in the Kansas City area is immeasurable. There are countless players, coaches and parents who felt the impact of his positive contribution to the sport of football.

It has been said that he was a person who coached people not football. His tragic death in a car accident in 2006 left a hole in the Kansas City coaching community. The Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association honors head and assistant coaches each year in his name.

Vic Bonuchi – Excelsior Springs High School

Bonuchi led Excelsior Springs to a 137-44-7 record in two stints as the Tigers’ head coach. He began his career in 1960 and stayed at Excelsior until 1973 when he left for his alma mater William Jewell College where he served as the defensive coordinator.

He returned to the Tigers in 1989 where the program went to another level. Excelsior Springs won two state titles in 1994 and 1996. The Tigers also had five undefeated seasons and went 43 games without a loss.

He also coached the Tigers to two state wrestling titles and the field at Excelsior Springs bears his name. Bonuchi currently resides in Excelsior Springs.

Sam Brown – Grandview/SM North/Excelsior Springs

Sam Brown has been a successful coach at every stop in his career. The Excelsior Springs native finished his career with a 176-129-1 record with stops at Grandview and Shawnee Mission North sandwiched in between stints at his alma mater.

At Grandview he led the Bulldogs to six conference titles, district titles and quarterfinal appearances in a nine-year stretch. Grandview also reached the semifinals in 1984.

At Shawnee Mission North his team won a Sunflower League title, two district titles and advanced to the quarterfinals in 2000.

Brown played his college football at the University of Missouri and was a member of the 1970 Orange Bowl team. He currently resides in Liberty.

Fred Merrell – Blue Springs/St. Mary’s/SM South

Merrell made an impact on several programs on both sides of the state line. He is a Kansas City native graduating from Paseo High School in 1951. He has been an assistant or head coach in Missouri at Liberty, Monroe City, West Plains, Blue Springs, St. Mary’s and Truman and Shawnee Mission South on the Kansas side.

His career stretched 46 years and saw his teams win nine conference titles, seven district titles and numerous other accolades including being named the Cecil Patters KC Coach of the Year in 1983, the Kansas Class 6A Coach of the Year in 1989, named to the Missouri Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. Merrell currently resides in Blue Springs

Paul Monteil – O’Hara High School

Monteil was the coach at O’Hara from 1975-1994 where his team’s amassed a 144-76-1 record. In that time his teams won six West Central Conference titles, advanced to the state quarterfinals five times, semifinals three times, title game twice and winning the Class 3A state championship in 1980.

While at O’Hara he also coached baseball, basketball and golf. He was also the Celtics Athletic Director from 1975-1994. He was named the Missouri Class 3A Coach of the Year in 1980, earned the Cecil Patterson Coach of the Year Award in 1992 and entered the Missouri Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 1997. The stadium at O’Hara is named for him. Monteil currently lives in Lee’s Summit.

Dick Purdy – SM West/Lawrence/Lee’s Summit

Purdy is a Metro coaching legend that led both Shawnee Mission West and Lawrence to multiple state title games and along with Lee’s Summit’s only state championship game appearance. When Purdy finished his more than four decade career in 1999 he had a career record of 270-138-5.

Purdy came to Shawnee Mission West from Chanute in 1967 and led the Vikings to championship games in 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1976 winning the title in 1972. He stepped away from high school football in 1981 to spend two years as an assistant at the University of Kansas before coming back to the prep ranks at Lee’s Summit in 1983. He then moved to Lawrence in 1990 where he led the Chesty Lions to five titles in six years from 1990-1995, including four straight.

His coaching tree is large as well as fellow GKCFCA Hall of Famers Tony Severino and Harold Wambsgans were both assistants on his staffs at Shawnee Mission West. Purdy currently resides in Arizona.

Steve Rampy – Blue Valley

When Rampy took over at Blue Valley in 1985 he began a run of excellence that continues to this day. Rampy was head coach until 2010 and in that time his teams went to eight state title games, winning the championship in 1991, 1998, 2003 and 2006. Those four championship teams combined to lose 1 game in that time.

Blue Valley also went to the championship game in 1992, 1995, 1997 and 2005. During his time the Tigers were known for their more wide-open attack at a time when most schools in the Eastern Kansas and Sunflower Leagues were known for running the ball.

Rampy is now the offensive coordinator at Pittsburg State University and helped them to a NCAA Division II National Championship in 2011. Rampy was also a founding board member of the GKCFCA. He currently resides in Pittsburg, Kan.

Gil Rector – Lexington High School

When people talk about Lexington football they talk about Gil Rector. In his 30 years leading the Minutemen, his teams won 231 games, 10 Missouri River Valley Conference Championships, 13 district championships and five state titles.

He was named the Missouri Class 2A Coach of the Year in 1976 and 1980 and the Class 3A Coach of the Year in 1994. He is in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. The football Stadium at Lexington was named Gil Rector stadium in his honor in 1997. He currently resides in Lexington.

Tony Severino – Rockhurst High School

In his nearly four decades as a head coach, Severino’s teams have won at the highest level year in and year out. He has a career record of 348-93-1 in 38 years with a record of 305-72-1 at Rockhurst.

He began his coaching career in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio before coming to Shawnee Mission West where he was an assistant football coach and head baseball coach. His first state title was a baseball title at West  before he became the head coach at Shawnee Mission Northwest where he led the Cougars to their only state title in 1982.

He moved to Rockhurst in 1983 where he is still the head coach today. His teams at Rockhurst have won seven state championships and finished second three more times. He currently resides in Overland Park.

Chip Sherman – Platte County High School

Sherman helped turn Platte County into a household name in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The Pirates dominated Missouri Class 3 football with three straight state titles from 2000-2002. Along the way that team had a 52-game winning streak and was one of the most dominant teams in the Metro.

He finished at Platte County with a 197-33 record before moving to the Kansas side where he has coached at Salina South, Shawnee Mission East and currently at Olathe Northwest. He currently has a career record of 241-57.

Sherman has been named Coach of the Year by several entities and is a past president of the GKCFCA. He currently resides in Parkville.

Harold Wambsgans – SM West/Lee’s Summit/LS North

Wambsgans has been a part of high school football in the Metro since the 1960s. He has served as head coach at Shawnee Mission East, Shawnee Mission West, Lee’s Summit and Lee’s Summit North.

In his time at West his teams won five Sunflower League titles, went to the playoffs seven times, played for a state championship twice, winning the Kansas 6A title in 1985. That title was the last by a Shawnee Mission School until Shawnee Mission West won it in 2012.

He began the program at Lee’s Summit North winning a conference title in its fourth season. Since retiring after the 2008 season, he is still a part of Metro Football as the co-host of PrepsKC’s Football Friday Night radio show. He currently resides in Lee’s Summit.

Bud Wheeler – Olathe North/Olathe South

Wheeler was the football coach at Olathe High School starting in 1975 and is widely credited with turning the town into a football power. When Olathe South opened in 1981 he became the school’s first head coach and held that position until 1995.

Gene Wier and Jeff Meyers were on his staff during his time as a head coach. Wier would follow Wheeler and lead Olathe North to six state titles. Meyers just finished a successful two decade run at Olathe East that saw the Hawks in the playoffs for 13 straight seasons.

Wheeler’s teams won eight EKL titles and one Sunflower League title. Wheeler passed away in 2008.

Gene Wier – Olathe North

Wier helped turn Olathe North into the dominant program in the state of Kansas in the 1990s. During his time as head coach his team won six state titles, with five of those finishing undefeated.

He was the head coach at Olathe North from 1981-2003 and then again from 2012-2014. During his time his teams finished with a 210-48 record. His teams at Olathe North have a 38-game winning streak to its credit along with a 19-game playoff winning streak. The Eagles won 11 district titles, six EKL titles and nine Sunflower League titles.

He was also the head coach at Richlands, Texas from 2003-2012 where his teams went to the postseason three times and won the Texas 7-on-7 title in 2009. He currently is the Director of High School Relations for the University of Kansas football program and lives in Olathe.

Bruce Young – Raymore-Peculiar

Young has been a football coach for more than 40 years with stops at Norborne, Marceline and Raymore-Peculiar in Missouri. He led Norborne to the semifinals and Marceline to the state championship game. At Raymore-Peculiar he helped turn the Panthers into one of the most successful programs in Metro.

His influence is as strong off the field as it is on it. While at Raymore-Peculiar he was a founding board member of the GKCFCA, helped start the Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game in 1992 and the GKCFCA Scholar Athlete program. Young has influenced more than 100 former players to remain in football as coaches including current Raymore-Peculiar Head Coach Tom Kruse and Fort Osage Head Coach Ryan Schartz.

Associate

Bill Maas

Maas may be known to most as a former star defensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1980s and 90s. During that time he also held football camps that featured some of the top high school coaches in the Metro. During one of those camps the discussion came for the need of a Kansas City coaches association.

Maas was instrumental in the founding and in fact donated the original seed money to start the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association. Simply, put without his interest, there would not be a GKCFCA.

In his post football career he is now the Director of Real Estate Services for Block and Company. He also does NFL analysis for 610 Sports and Time Warner Cable Sportschannel. Maas resides in Lee’s Summit.

Player

Darren Sproles – Olathe North

Sproles is one of the most prolific high school players in the history of Kansas City. He ran for 2,031 yards as a junior and 2,485 yards and 49 touchdowns as a senior leading Olathe North to the state title in 2000. He won the Thomas Simone Award his senior year as the most outstanding football player in the Kansas City Metro.

He would go on to Kansas State where he would finish with 4,979 yards and 45 TDs. His senior year he finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting. Sproles has spent the last decade in the NFL playing for the San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles. He holds the NFL record for most all-purpose yards in a season with 2,696 in 2011. Sproles currently resides in San Diego.

2016

Pioneer Coaches

Bill Cox – St. Mary’s/Fort Osage/Pleasant Hill

A Kansas City native, Cox attended Glennon High School where he graduated in 1960. He attended the University of Central Missouri before starting a coaching career that has lasted 39 years.

Cox has coached all over the Kansas City Metro at schools of every size. He has been a head coach for 28 of those years with stops at St. Mary’s in Independence, Mo., Fort Osage and Pleasant Hill. At St. Mary’s he led the school to its only football state championship in 1972. He was also an assistant coach at Lillis, Southwest, Park Hill, Oak Grove, Grandview and Blue Valley North.

He finished with a 141-129-2 record that included the state championship, two conference championships and two district championships. He also coached four players who went on to the NFL.

Cox has been married to his wife Janice for 50 years and has five children and nine grandchildren. Cox currently lives in Blue Springs.

Jerry Crews – Oak Park

Crews was born in Odessa and graduated from the high school in 1954. From there he attended the University of Central Missouri where he graduated in 1958.

He began his coaching career at Maple Park Junior High in 1962 before moving to Oak Park in 1965. He served as an assistant until 1971 when he took over the program as the head coach. Crews led the Northmen until 1985 and his teams compiled an 84-57 record that featured seven conference championships, two district championships, two undefeated regular seasons and two appearances in the state semifinals. He was named the Missouri Class 4 coach of the year in 1975.

Crews coached a variety of sports over a 54-year period including track and golf. He also served as Oak Park’s Athletic Director for 16 years.

He currently resides in Kansas City with his wife.

Jerry Culver – De LaSalle/Rockhurst/Center

Culver coached for several decades at several schools in the Metro. He led the very successful De LaSalle program in the 1950s and 60s and was the head coach at Rockhurst and Center.

During his time at De LaSalle the program was legendary for beating power schools like Rockhurst, North Kansas City, Raytown, Bishop Ward, Westport and Bishop Miege. De LaSalle took on all comers in an era where there were no state championships to win.

Culver coached at Rockhurst from 1976-1982 where he finished with a 63-16 record that included a Missouri Class 4A state championship in 1981 and a Class 5A second-place finish in 1982.

John Davis – Shawnee Mission South

Davis was the first coach at Shawnee Mission South and spent 20 years at the school. From 1966-85 He led the Raiders to 18 winning seasons, seven Sunflower League titles and state Championships in 1973 and 1975.

South was dominant in the stretch from 1971-1978 winning five undefeated league titles. The Raiders were 29-0 in their conference and 56-8 in regular season during 1971-3, 1975 and 1978.

He continued teaching until 1994 when he retired. Davis passed away in 2010.

Bill Freeman – Lawrence

One of the most decorated coaches in Kansas Football history, Freeman coached at six high schools winning six state titles.

A native Burlington, Kan. he started his coaching career in 1953 at Baxter Springs High School. From there he moved to Parker Rural, Nickerson and Le Roy. At Le Roy High School his 8-man teams had a 33-11-1 record from 1960-64 and were ranked as the consensus No. 1 in 1962.

In 1965 he moved to Osawatomie where his team received another consensus No. 1 ranking in 1966 and a Class 3A state championship in 1973.

His 1974 he took over the storied program at Lawrence and continued their winning tradition. Freeman led the Chesty Lions from 1974-89 winning five Kansas Class 6A championships. He compiled a 134-38 record at Lawrence and a 242-81-3 mark for his career.

Freeman also coached Lawrence to two track and field titles while he was at the school. After retiring from teaching he moved Le Roy where he owned a bank and was also the town’s mayor. Freeman passed away in 2015 at the age of 84.

Gerald Partridge – Ruskin

An Arkansas native, Partridge began his coaching career at Warrensburg in 1961. In 1965 he moved to Ruskin where he was the head coach until 1993.

During his time at Ruskin the Eagles won four conference championships and made several state playoff appearances including a run to the 1991 Missouri Class 4A quarterfinals.

Partridge finished as the longest tenured coach in Suburban Conference History and No. 3 in all-time conference wins. He also coached 123 all-conference players while at Ruskin. In 1988 he was named the Cecil Patterson Coach of the Year in the Kansas City Metro.

He finished his career with a 168-152-8 record. He currently resides in Grandview.

Harold Reade – Shawnee Mission

Born just after the turn of the 20th century Reade came from Moran, Kan. to coach at Shawnee Mission High school during the 1930s.

Reade took over both the football and basketball programs at was then the only high school in the Shawnee Mission School District. He coached both sports from 1934-55. In football he amassed a 110-38-11 record winning eight Northeast Kansas championships and one Sunflower League title.

In basketball he led his team to a 235-76 mark that included nine Northeast Kansas championships and two Kansas Class 2A state titles.

Reade passed away in 1974.

Bill Robinson – Southwest

After graduating from the University of Iowa, Bill Robinson began his career by coaching 6-man football, track, girls and boys basketball, and baseball.

From 1957-1979 he led the football program at Southwest High School to an overall record of 129-65-18;  which included 10 league championships, an undefeated season in 1968, and a state championship in 1972. He received the Cecil Patterson Award in 1977 and the Knute Rockne Award in 1966 and 1972. He was awarded Interscholastic Coach of the Year five times, and numerous Coach of the Year awards from city, philanthropic, and local media organizations. He was inducted into the Missouri Coaches Hall of Fame in 1992.

As a toddler, his right arm was permanently paralyzed by polio. He never played a single down of football, but he had a deep understanding and love of the game, and his calm nature brought out the best in his players.

Bill Robinson passed away in 1999.

Merl Venable – Baldwin/ Turner

Venable came to Kansas from his native Oklahoma in the 1950s to attend Emporia State. After graduation he started his coaching career in 1960 with stops at Independence, Kan.  Junior College and Carbondale and Chickasha High Schools in Okla.

In 1966 he took over the football and track program at Baldwin. During that time he won 75 percent of his games including a state championship in 1982 and a No. 1 state ranking in 1968 the year before the state playoff system began. Baldwin also finished as state runner-ups in 1971 and 1978 and was in the postseason numerous times during his tenure. After leaving Baldwin he moved to Turner from 1987-92.

He was named the Kansas Coach of the Year in 1982. Venable passed away in 2012.

Coach

Paul Brown – Blue Valley

Brown is a Kansas City native who graduated from Olathe High School in 1973. He has been coaching since 1976 and has made a huge impact at several programs across the Metro.

His coaching career began as a student assistant at his alma mater Emporia State University. After spending time at Ferris State University he was named the head coach at Turner high school in 1981.

In 1984 he moved to Bishop Miege where his teams won four EKL championships and made seven playoff appearances. The Stags would make it to the semifinals three times and finish with one undefeated season. During his 15 seasons at Miege Brown was named the 1987 EKL Coach of the Year and the head coach of the 1994 Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game.

In 1999 he moved to Basehor-Linwood where his teams would win two Kaw Valley League titles and make two playoff appearances during his tenure.

Since 2004 he has been an assistant at Blue Valley. He has been a part of 10 playoffs teams that advanced to the state championship game five times winning three titles.

Brown is a one of the founders and a past president of the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association. He is still an integral part of the success of this organization to this day.

Rick Byers – St. Pius X

Byers has been one of the top coaches in the Metro for more than two decades. He began his coaching career at Fort Scott, Kan. High School before moving to St. Pius X in 1987 as an assistant.

In 1995 Byers took over the Warriors and led his teams to 10 district titles, four state championship game appearances and three state titles. St. Pius X won the Missouri Class 2 State Championship in 1998, 2000 and 2002 finishing second in 1999. He has also won several conference titles over this time.

Byers was named the 2001 Cecil Patterson Coach of the Year, the 1999 Kansas City Star Coach of the Year, the 1999 Kansas City Chiefs Coach of the Year and the Missouri Class 2 Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2000.

Byers is currently the head coach and athletic director at Pius and resides in Olathe.

Greg Oder – Blue Springs South

The Milan Missouri native began his coaching career as an assistant at Kirksville High School in 1986. From there he moved to Plattsburg and Blue Springs South where he helped turn the Jaguars into a Missouri state power.

His first head coaching position came at Plattsburg where he had a 27-8 record in three seasons. From there he moved to Blue Springs South when the school opened in 1992 as the defensive coordinator. In that position under first Dave Ross and then Buddy Young Oder helped the program reach a 69-30 mark including an appearance in the 1995 Missouri Class 5A state Championship game.

In 2001 he was named the Jaguars’ head coach. In the next 16 seasons Blue Springs South would earn four conference titles, four district titles, advanced to the Missouri Class 6 championship game four times and win three state titles.

Oder led his team to titles in 2006, 2011 and 2015. His final season saw the Jaguars go 13-0 to with the Missouri Class 6 title. He finished his coaching career with a 148-55 record.

He retired from teaching and coaching this past May and currently resides in Parkville.

Forrest Rovello – Grain Valley

The Kansas City native spent four decades involved in high school football in the Metro.

Rovello began his coaching career at Sherwood High School in Sherwood, Mo. as an assistant in 1983 before becoming the head coach in 1989. The next year he moved to Southwest High School in Kansas City where he was the defensive coordinator.

In 1993 he took over a Grain Valley program that had struggled to find wins for almost a decade. He would build the Eagles into a consistent winner going 133-64 in 18 seasons. Over that span Grain Valley would win nine conference titles, make eight playoff appearances and three trips to the state semifinals in two different classes. Rapid growth at the school meant the Eagles would grow from Class 2 in 2000 to Class 4 by 2009 and Grain Valley made the playoffs five times during that time.

Rovello has been named The Examiner Coach of the Year three times, the KMZU coach of the Year and the Kansas City Chiefs Coach of the Week three times.

He finished his career as an assistant at St. Mary’s and Lone Jack before retiring in 2012. He currently resides in Blue Springs.

Dan Stanley – Westport/Winnetonka/University Academy

Stanley was born in Kansas City and has spent the last 50 plus years working in high school and college football in the Metro.

A Southeast High School graduate he went to Missouri Valley College where he graduated in 1959. From there his coaching career began as an assistant at William Chrisman and Kansas City Central before being named the head coach at Westport High School in 1964.

In 1969 he moved to Winnetonka High School as the school’s first head football coach. During his time there he won five Suburban Conference titles and one district title.

From there he moved to William Jewell College as an assistant and then to his alma mater Missouri Valley as the head coach.  After leaving Missouri Valley in 2002 he served as an assistant coach at Shawnee Mission North and Pembroke Hill.

Stanley had two more stints as a head coach. He returned to Westport earning a playoff win in 2009 and then at University Academy winning a district title. He coached until 2014 as an assistant at Lincoln Prep.

Stanley has been a part of 11 programs and influenced countless players and coaches during his time. He currently resides in Kansas City.

Steve Szcygiel – Schlagle

The Kansas City, Kan. native has been a head coach at Schlagle and an assistant at Olathe North and Shawnee Mission West where he is still on staff.

At Schlagle Szcygiel went 97-65 from 1992-2008 and won 10 league championships and four district titles to go along with four state playoff appearances.

He was an assistant at Olathe North from 2009-10 and helped the Eagles to a Kansas Class 6A state title in 2009 and a second-place finish in 2010. Since 2011 he has been an assistant at Shawnee Mission West helping the Vikings to the Kansas Class 6A championship in 2012.

Szcygiel is a long-time member of the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association severing on the board from 2000-2008. He has also been a member of the Kansas All-Star coaching staff in 1993, 1995, 1999 and 2003.

He currently resides in Olathe.

Bob Tavenaro – Bishop Miege

Tavenaro is a longtime member of the Kansas City football community going back to his days as a player at De LaSalle High School where he graduated in 1960.

After graduating from the University of Central Missouri he began his coaching career 1966 as an assistant at Southwest High School. From there he was named the head coach at Grandview in 1969 where he was the head coach at Grandview for 10 seasons. During that time his teams won five conference championships.

In 1979 he moved to Bishop Miege where he led the Stags for five seasons. In that time his teams won three league titles, two district championships and finished second in the state in 1982.

In the last three decades Tavenaro has been the head coach for the Kansas City Marine Corps Football team and been an assistant coach at Blue Valley North, Shawnee Mission Northwest, Raytown South, Blue Springs, Raytown and Bishop Miege where he is currently on staff. During his time as an assistant his teams have won four state titles and numerous league and district championships.

During his career he has earned four conference coach of the year awards, been a head coach and assistant coach in several all-star games. Tavenaro has been a coach for 46 years and been a part of 38 teams that finished with a winning season.

He currently resides in Kansas City.

Associate

John McCarthy

John McCarthy was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1951. He graduated from Cathedral Latin High School and subsequently attended Kansas State University. While working on his business degree, he was involved in many campus activities including starting as a wide receiver on the schools’ nationally ranked football team. During his stay at KSU, he met his wife, Nancy, from Kansas City. They have been married since 1972.

The McCarthy Auto Group has been successfully operating franchised dealerships in Kansas City since 1981. In that time, it has consistently been a leader in volume, customer service and profitability. Key to its success is a commitment to the communities in which it serves. The McCarthy Auto Group participates in local city governments, sits on boards of country clubs and local charities, hosts chamber of commerce events, actively fundraises for community events and provides leadership on statewide automobile industry committees.

McCarthy’s commitment has been shown in his support for the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association Scholar Athlete Program. The program used to honor 22 athletes with only two each receiving $1,000 scholarships. Nine years ago McCarthy stepped in and funded 22 $1,000 scholarships every year since. His support of the GKCFCA, football and high school sports in general can be seen all over the Metro.

Player

Russ Washington – Southeast/MU/San Diego Chargers

Washington was one of the best football players ever to come out of the Kansas City Metro. He was a 1964 graduate of Southeast High School where he was one of the most feared linemen on both sides of the state line.

He played college football at the University of Missouri where he was named the Big Eight Conference defensive player of the year and first-team All-American in 1967.

Washington was drafted fourth overall in the 1968 AFL/NFL Common Draft by the San Diego Chargers. He played 15 seasons for the Chargers on the offensive line. He was named to the NFL Pro Bowl five times while earning second-team All-Pro honors twice in 1979 and 1982.

He is a member of the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame and currently resides in San Diego.