SM East will have its third head football coach in nine months after first year coach Fred Bouchard resigned Monday, just days before the 2018 season is set to begin.
In a team meeting Monday, Bouchard told his Lancers team that he had accepted an offer to become a central office administrator at a school district in Decatur, Illinois.
While saying that the opportunity was too attractive to pass up — “It would have to be to pull the string this late,” he said — Bouchard acknowledged that he’d had a difficult time bridging a “philosophical gap” with parts of the Shawnee Mission School District’s central administration.
“That gap, I thought that was something that I could pull together, but there was still a divide,” he said.
Bouchard accepted the position as SM East’s new head coach in January after the resignation of five-year head coach Dustin Delaney, who piloted the Lancers to the school’s first ever state title. Delaney cited concerns with district-level administrative decisions as a factor in his resignation.
A three-decade veteran on the local coaching scene, Bouchard had won five state titles in Missouri as the head coach at Harrisonville and Staley. For two years prior to his acceptance of the role at SM East, he had been a central office administrator at Staley and had not coached.
He and his wife, who recently accepted a teaching job in the Blue Valley School District, had recently moved to Prairie Village.
The district’s central office confirmed Bouchard’s resignation Monday evening and said that it had not finalized plans for an interim head coach for the 2018 season. But Bouchard and Lancer Gridiron Club president Jason Mohr indicated that offensive coordinator Justin Hoover was likely to move into the role.
Hoover is a former Pittsburg State University quarterback who has been an assistant coach at Bishop Miege and runs the Spin It Quarterback Academy, which counts top prospects like Drew Lock and Graham Mertz among its clients.
“There is no one in the city who is more ready to be a head football coach than Justin Hoover,” Bouchard said. “There is a depth of his care and how he treats people and how he embraces young people. His skill set is really good.”
Mohr said that Bouchard had “assembled what we think is one of the best coaching staffs in the state” and that Hoover would be able to keep the team focused on its big picture goals.
“Nothing has changed for our kids,” Mohr said. “They are still trying to win a state championship. We wish coach Bouchard the best of luck. But our team is still going to be focused on winning the Sunflower League and a Kansas state title.”
Bouchard said it had been an incredibly difficult decision to step down from the position with the start of the season so close. He was particularly complimentary of the work of SM East athletic director Debbie Katzfey.
“Debbie has been an amazing AD to work with, and I think people would be served if they listened to her a lot more,” he said. “She is the kind of person who really empowers you to see possibilities. That’s the kind of person you want to have in that role.”
The first game of the Lancers’ 2018 season will be Friday, August 31 against Gardner-Edgerton.
(SHAWNEE, KS)–GreenPal, an app that connects homeowners with local, vetted lawn care professionals, has launched in Shawnee. Nashville-based GreenPal allows homeowners to find local,
Lenexa mom whose son temporarily lost hearing after incident calls father of boy who brought gun to daycamp ‘negligent’
One parent whose child was at a day camp when a 10-year-old boy accidentally fired a gun chalked up the incident to negligence by
Overland Park plans to rename Santa Fe Commons ‘Thompson Park’ in recognition of $1 million donation from retired businessman
By Roxie Hammill One-third of the cost of upgrading Santa Fe Commons Park will be paid with a donation of $1 million by retired
Following gunfire at day camp, Johnson County agencies urge parents to check backpacks, offer tips on coping with trauma
After a gun brought to a Johnson County Park and Recreation District daycamp by a 10 year old went off, Johnson County officials are
After concerns from council, Roeland Park tweaks proposed media policy to route requests to city admin
Debate on Roeland Park’s media policy continued Monday, with some councilmembers voicing concern the policy placed too much emphasis on the mayor’s role in
Folks: It’s Primary Election Day. And I know it’s rainy. And everyone’s busy getting ready for the start of school later this week. And
A 16-year-old SM East student will spend 13 months in juvenile detention for his role in the Prairie Village car crash that led to
Rep. Yoder says he will debate Democratic challenger three times before general election. Rep. Kevin Yoder’s campaign announced Monday that it had agreed to
Folks: Tuesday is primary election day. If you are a registered voter and haven’t taken advantage of the life-affirming opportunity that is advance voting
Shawnee Mission Health recently celebrated the completion of foundation and framing construction on the facility that will house its new early learning center and
At JCCC, we redefine what it means to be a community college. Our students start out seeking a high-quality, affordable education, but quickly find
Detainee rate for youth of color dropping in Johnson County, but work remains to eliminate disparities
Fair treatment of youth, no matter their skin color, is the Johnson County’s juvenile corrections office’s priority. Recognizing that responsibility, Johnson County district attorney
State Board of Education candidates on the issues: Sex education, tax money and private schools, attracting teachers to Kansas
Some voters in the western part of the Shawnee Mission area, including portions of Lenexa, Overland Park and Shawnee, will have the Republican primary
Shawnee leaders get first look at concepts for proposed $35 million community, indoor aquatics center
Shawnee city leaders got a first look Friday at concepts for the city’s proposed community center, including feasibility, site design and public input of