By Chris Heady
SM East football fans, meet Dustin Delaney, your new football coach.
“It was a unanimous decision but it took a little bit (to finally decide). I think I made the right choice,” said incoming principal John McKinney. “He’s a snag,” he added. Coming off three years at Emporia High School that resulted in 23 wins and a regional title, Delaney is now officially the new face of Lancer football as of 2:40 this afternoon, stepping into the big shoes of Chip Sherman.
The fresh-faced football coach met with roughly 50 students this afternoon in his first meeting as the newest Lancer head coach. “You guys know how to win,” Delaney said to his players. “You guys learned that from Sherman, but now I want to take this program to the next level. I want to win a state championship. I believe that’s why I was brought here.”
Assistant coaches and administrators who helped pick Delaney attended as well, including Associate Principal Jeremy Higgins, assistant coach Chip Ufford and McKinney.
Delaney met with coaches and faculty all morning and afternoon to get acquainted with the building and the area. With end of semester finals looming, questions of post-season workouts and the beginning of camps were in the air. “We’re going to start everything the second week of June,” Delaney said, which gives him enough time to settle into town and the program.
Delaney is fresh off a 9-2 season that included a postseason run with Emporia High, and he intends to make multiple runs in the playoffs during his time here. “Throw out all your preconceived notions of me and I’ll throw out all of my preconceived notions of you, and let’s get to work,” Delaney said.
The meeting was short, only about 10 minutes, but Delaney says it’s only a preview of what’s to come. “I do things fast. We’re going to play fast. Sometimes we’re going to hike the ball five seconds into the play clock, so get used to doing things fast,” Delaney said.
With Delaney’s past accomplishments and the rising expectations from Lancer players, success with Delaney may come fast, too.