I've been here 19 years already, the last 13 as Lansing High School's head football coach.

To the editor:
I've been here 19 years already, the last 13 as Lansing High School's head football coach.

I have poured my heart and soul into the Lansing football program throughout the years, and worked my tail off trying to do everything I possibly can to help our players be as successful as possible.

For 36 years, I've been all over the Midwest, to coaching clinics and spring practices. I've talked with or heard some of the top coaches in the country speak.
I have studied, stolen, and developed our own style of offense, defense, and special teams.

The last couple of years haven't been up to what we expect of ourselves, let alone what anybody else thinks. I guarantee you, it's not as easy as some people think.
But, I will be stepping down as head football coach at LHS.
My first six years, I was an assistant coach under coach Rick Hodam.

He and I put our coaching experiences and ideas together — I was a head football coach for 17 years in Western Kansas at two different schools, before coming to Lansing. I really appreciated what coach Hodam did for me, and we had some great years together.

During these first six years, we had three or four real good football teams, with some very good players, and we won two district championships — 1996 and 1998.
I became head coach in 2001.
My assistant coaches and I raised the level of play in our football team from 2001-10, winning league titles in 2005 and 2007, winning district championships in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2010, and winning bi-district playoff games in 2004 and 2005, the only playoff wins in school history.

We had some very good football players during these years. But, we also got better because we made some of the "average Joe kids" better football players, from their hard work in the weight room, treating them with some respect, and coaching the heck out of them. I've always believed when working with kids in, "Treat them like you would treat your own son, or how you would want to be treated as a player."
That's what I always tried to do.
In the process of trying to bring home a "winner" each year, some things have changed.

These are not excuses, just changes we have experienced:
We grew from a 4A to 5A school in classification and have gotten to play three of the "big dogs" in the playoffs in the last three years in Blue Valley, St. Thomas Aquinas and Bishop Miege.
These schools have been well established in 5A for many years, plus two of them can and do recruit.

Also, our number of players out for football has grown from 80 to 95 players, which is great. I wish we could've gotten every guy in our school out for football.
The game has changed quite a bit in the last 10-12 years, both offensively and defensively, with more and more teams
using the spread offense. We have made many changes ourselves both offensively and defensively.

I have lost some good assistant coaches along the way. In the last two years, we've had two coaches shuffle in and out of our program each year, so I have had to adjust coaches into different coaching positions, which has had an impact on some things.

I want to thank all the Lansing Lion football players and managers I've worked with the last 19 and 13 years.

I really appreciate the guys who were passionate about the game of football, paid their dues in the weight room, demonstrated toughness, could take some coaching, and could step up on game day and make things happen for the Lansing Lions.
I also want to thank all the parents for their support, assistance and sacrifices they have made while their son participated as a Lansing Lion football player.
Of course, I want to thank all the assistant coaches I've worked with the last 13 years and the other support staff — Trey Hinkson, Kevin Riemann, Russell Baldwin, Rick Hodam, Rod Briggs, Mike Williams, Aaron Wecas, Kyle Deere, Blake Deere, Reece Petty, Bryan Shelley, Brandon Shelley, Kraig Goerl, Matt Watson, Bryon Mays, Nick Brungardt; video staffers Brian Schwanz, Gary Jones, and Gordon Mein; concession stand manager Jeff Cunningham; and statisticians Joey McKee and Rob Abbott.

Finally, I wish the current players, the new head football coach and staff the best of luck in the future.
Lansing football history:
League champions — 1982, 1988, 2005 and 2007.
District champions — 1982, 1983, 1990, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2010.
Bi-district champions — 2004 and 2005.