Archive for Thursday, February 26, 2004

Basehor-Linwood search for coaches heats up

February 26, 2004

There are two coaching vacancies at Basehor-Linwood High School. This week, school officials said they're close to filling at least one of them.

BLHS principal Steve Blankensip and athletic director Joe Keeler said dozens of candidates applied to become the next football coach at the high school. From the field of applicants, the school district pursued four "very strong coaching candidates," and interviewed each of them.

School district officials interviewed the last candidate Friday afternoon.

"They all want to be here," Blankenship said. "They've raved about the area and seemed very sincere that they wanted to be here."

Keeler said he expected a decision would come this week; but an official announcement wouldn't take place until members of the Basehor-Linwood School Board approved the hire.

After the 2003 football season, BLHS football coach Paul Brown resigned from the post he held for the last five seasons. Brown won two Kaw Valley League championships and two district championships, both of which came in back to back seasons.

However, the last two seasons have been unkind to the Bobcats.

They have combined record of 2-16 the last two years. The number of players coming out for football also has dropped off in recent years.

Blankenship said each of the candidates understands rejuvenating excitement for football is a must.

"All of the candidates know that and have plans for doing that," he said.

Blankenship and Keeler said the candidate interviews are a district-wide process involving everyone from administrators at the high school to those at the school district office.

The second coaching vacancy at the high school was created last week when basketball coach Bruce Courtney announced he would resign at season's end.

Courtney has been the head coach for the Bobcat boys the last three seasons and served as an assistant coach seven years before assuming the lead position.

The Bobcat cagers have finished last in the Kaw Valley League the last two seasons and could again at the end of this year. They've won less than 10 games total in three seasons.

Blankenship said the search for a new basketball coach would begin right away, and the Bobcats hope to have a coach in place by the summer to coordinate off-season conditioning and summer camps.

The high school hosts a summer camp, which usually runs in late May or early June. This summer's camp schedule is contingent upon the new coach, high school administrators said.

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