THS aide Kempf giving up coaching
Call it a sign of summer for Tonganoxie High athletics.
With the end of every school year comes the inevitable list of assistant coaches leaving one program or another.
Often, an assistant is taking a similar job at another school or moving up the ranks as a head coach elsewhere.
Neither of those scenarios will play out for Brad Kempf, though, who is getting out of the coaching game entirely. An assistant with the Chieftains baseball and boys basketball programs the past three years, Kempf, 34, is hanging up his whistle and leaving Tonganoxie behind to focus on another part of education. The former THS social studies instructor will become a principal at White City, a 1A school about 25 miles southeast of Junction City.
“Besides the move out to White City,” Kempf said, “the biggest change is walking away from coaching high school athletics, something I have been doing for about 10 seasons.”
Kempf first began coaching in 1996 when he was in the military and stationed at Fort Carson, Colo. He started off coaching youth sports there and eventually moved up to high school-aged summer league teams. In 2005 he became a boys basketball and baseball assistant at Fort Knox High in Kentucky and was the head baseball coach there from 2006 to 2008 before moving to Tonganoxie.
“I will definitely miss coaching,” Kempf said. “I will miss working with student-athletes and passing on the sports knowledge that I have leaned over the years. I will miss the experiences with other coaches as you go through the ups and downs of a season.”
It was a difficult decision to leave Tonganoxie, he added, because he enjoys the community. But Kempf said the White City job offers him a unique opportunity to work as an administrator at the elementary, middle school and high school levels.
While he won’t be in a dugout or on a bench at White City, Kempf said he will still spend plenty of time around the athletics department there as a principal and a fan at sporting events for both middle school and high school teams.
“I will very much enjoy being a fan at White City because the school has great town support and, being a rural environment, the high school sporting events are the place to be on those nights,” he said.
Kempf plans to have his family — wife Jill and sons Jack, 5, and Eli, 2 — relocated to White City by the end of the month and said he wouldn’t rule out a return to Tonganoxie down the line.
“I feel like Tonganoxie is home, because the people of the community make this a great place to live and work,” he said. “I truly hope that I can come back here when I gain administrator experience down the road.”