Archive for Wednesday, June 21, 2000

Three Chieftain coaches resign

June 21, 2000

Look for some new faces on the Tonganoxie high school sidelines next year.

Three coaches, in three different sports, have resigned. One of the three coaches replaced another, but the hunt is still on for two additional coaches.

Last week, the Tonganoxie Board of Education accepted the resignation of John Lee as girls basketball coach, Chris Herron as baseball coach and Leslie Foster as assistant volleyball coach.

The board also approved the hiring of Foster, a two-year assistant on Lee's team, as Lee's replacement.

"Leslie has an excellent knowledge of basketball and has shown an excellent commitment to the team," Lee said.

Besides the volleyball job she resigned from and the assistant basketball position she stepped up from, Foster has spent three years as an assistant softball coach, a position she said she plans to retain.

Foster was hired by Tonganoxie in 1998 after coaching five years at Emporia and two years in Argonia.

Lee said she spent a year playing college basketball at Hutchinson Community College.

Besides the many coaching hats that she wears, Foster is also works as a math teacher at Tonganoxie high school.

She said that all her different jobs keep her busy but that she is excited about next season's basketball team.

"I'm really looking forward to a great year," Foster said. "The kids have been spending a lot of time working to get better and to make next season successful."

Next season's work started Monday when the team began its yearly, week-long summer camp.

"We'll be putting in a lot of new offenses and in-bounds plays," Foster said. "We've been working on that this week."

Lee said that he resigned to spend more time with his family but that he would remain Tonganoxie's athletics director.

"My wife and I recently had a child and I wasn't getting home till really late at night," Lee said. "Practice times just weren't working with being a parent."

He said that he was sorry he had to step down from coaching the team, which he said is capable of winning 15 or 16 games next season, but that he would do all he could to help the team have the best season possible.

"I still love coaching," he said. "I'd love to be a volunteer coach and help out whenever I can."

Lee said that Herron also has expressed interest in helping the baseball team on a part-time basis.

Herron has been the Chieftain's baseball coach since the school added the sport in 1991, and Lee said that leaving was a tough decision for Herron.

"He loves the sport and I think he'll still be there for the program," Lee said. "But right now he's got a huge commitment coaching volleyball at Benedictine."

He's also a full-time teacher at Tonganoxie Middle School, and is currently coaching Tonganoxie's Mr. Goodcents-sponsored little league baseball team.

Herron came to Tonganoxie after graduating from the College of the Ozarks.

Lee said he was currently reviewing applications to fill Herron's position.

Herron could not be reached for comment.

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