Baseball coaches focus on team
Unlike sports at a higher level, in high school sports, the players are the ones who are important.
And newly hired baseball coaches John Lee and Andy Gilner are walking examples of that motto.
Though both men said they wanted and were qualified to fill the vacant head coaching position, both men acted with dignity when the decision was handed down from the school board last week.
After four months of deliberations, Tonganoxie school board members hired Lee, the schools athletics director, to replace long-time coach Chris Herron, who resigned after last season.
Gilner, Herrons 11-year assistant, was rehired as the teams assistant.
Lee said that he and Gilner had decided that no matter who got the head coaching position the other would take the assistant coaching job.
Right now weve got head-coach quality coaches, Lee said. The head coach could easily have been an assistant and the assistant could have been the head coach.
Both Gilner and Lee agree that the Chieftains can go far this year and that their job as the teams coaching staff was to focus on that and not on who got the head coaching position.
Weve got some quality kids who can really play, Gilner said. Its a matter of putting it all together and winning some games.
Lee said, I feel with the young kids we have and the experienced players coming back from last year, we have a pretty good opportunity for success.
And, both men said, its the coaching staffs job to help turn talent and experience into victories for the players.
I know well work together well, Gilner said. The board had a tough choice, but were happy and going to try to win.
Its all about being there for the kids. Thats why we coach X for the kids.