Fred Bouchard, a three-decade coaching veteran with five Missouri state titles to his credit, will be the next head football coach at Shawnee Mission East.
Well known to metro-area prep football fans, Bouchard has been a high-school head coach for two decades. As head coach of Harrisonville High School from 2002 to 2007, Bouchard let the Wildcats to four Class 3 state championships and an overall record of 75-6. He was inducted into the Harrisonville Wildcats Football Hall of Fame last year.
He then moved on to become the first-ever head coach of Staley High School in the North Kansas City School District. In 2011, the Falcons won the Missouri 5A title. He continued coaching at Staley through 2015, after which he moved into an administrative role at the district level.
Bouchard said that after hitting retirement benchmarks with the Missouri employee retirement system this year, he was able to look at returning to coaching.
“It certainly gets my blood going,” he said. “Coaching is something that I’m passionate about.”
Bouchard says he knows he has big shoes to fill, replacing Dustin Delaney, the most successful coach in school history. Over five seasons with the Lancers, Delaney piloted the team to a 52-8 record, including two 6A championship appearances and the only football title in the school’s 60 year history. Delaney tendered his resignation at the start of the 2017 season over disputes with the district-level athletic administration, though he did not make the resignation public until after the season was over. He announced this month that he has accepted a job as the head coach at Eaglecrest High School in Centennial, Colo.
Bouchard said he’s watched the turnaround of the SM East program since the arrival of former Platte County Pirates coach Chip Sherman in 2009. Sherman brought success to a Lancers team that had dwelt in the cellars of the Sunflower League for decades. When Sherman left to take over the Olathe Northwest program in 2013, Delaney brought the Lancers to unprecedented heights.
“Chip did a great job laying the foundation. And Dustin of course has kept that ball rolling and taken it to the state championship level,” Bouchard said. “This will be a little bit of a new challenge, because the bar is pretty far up there. And I know nobody in the community wants to see that drop.”