2016 Hall of Fame

Pioneer Coaches

  • Bill CoxSt. Mary's/Fort Osage/Pleasant Hill

    A Kansas City native, Cox attended Glennon High School where he graduated in 1960. He attended the University of Central Missouri before starting a coaching career that has lasted 39 years. Cox has coached all over the Kansas City Metro at schools of every size. He has been a head coach for 28 of those years with stops at St. Mary's in Independence, Mo., Fort Osage and Pleasant Hill. At St. Mary's he led the school to its only football state championship in 1972. He was also an assistant coach at Lillis, Southwest, Park Hill, Oak Grove, Grandview and Blue Valley North. He finished with a 141-129-2 record that included the state championship, two conference championships and two district championships. He also coached four players who went on to the NFL. Cox has been married to his wife Janice for 50 years and has five children and nine grandchildren. Cox currently lives in Blue Springs.

  • Jerry CrewsOak Park

    assistant until 1971 when he took over the program as the head coach. Crews led the Northmen until 1985 and his teams compiled an 84-57 record that featured seven conference championships, two district championships, two undefeated regular seasons and two appearances in the state semifinals. He was namCrews was born in Odessa and graduated from the high school in 1954. From there he attended the University of Central Missouri where he graduated in 1958. He began his coaching career at Maple Park Junior High in 1962 before moving to Oak Park in 1965. He served as an ed the Missouri Class 4 coach of the year in 1975. Crews coached a variety of sports over a 54-year period including track and golf. He also served as Oak Park's Athletic Director for 16 years. He currently resides in Kansas City with his wife.

  • Jerry Culver De LaSalle/Rockhurst/Center

    Culver coached for several decades at several schools in the Metro. He led the very successful De LaSalle program in the 1950s and 60s and was the head coach at Rockhurst and Center. During his time at De LaSalle the program was legendary for beating power schools like Rockhurst, North Kansas City, Raytown, Bishop Ward, Westport and Bishop Miege. De LaSalle took on all comers in an era where there were no state championships to win. Culver coached at Rockhurst from 1976-1982 where he finished with a 63-16 record that included a Missouri Class 4A state championship in 1981 and a Class 5A second-place finish in 1982.

  • John Davis Shawnee Mission South

    Davis was the first coach at Shawnee Mission South and spent 20 years at the school. From 1966-85 He led the Raiders to 18 winning seasons, seven Sunflower League titles and state Championships in 1973 and 1975. South was dominant in the stretch from 1971-1978 winning five undefeated league titles. The Raiders were 29-0 in their conference and 56-8 in regular season during 1971-3, 1975 and 1978. He continued teaching until 1994 when he retired. Davis passed away in 2010.

  • Bill FreemanLawrence

    One of the most decorated coaches in Kansas Football history, Freeman coached at six high schools winning six state titles. A native Burlington, Kan. he started his coaching career in 1953 at Baxter Springs High School. From there he moved to Parker Rural, Nickerson and Le Roy. At Le Roy High School his 8-man teams had a 33-11-1 record from 1960-64 and were ranked as the consensus No. 1 in 1962. In 1965 he moved to Osawatomie where his team received another consensus No. 1 ranking in 1966 and a Class 3A state championship in 1973. His 1974 he took over the storied program at Lawrence and continued their winning tradition. Freeman led the Chesty Lions from 1974-89 winning five Kansas Class 6A championships. He compiled a 134-38 record at Lawrence and a 242-81-3 mark for his career. Freeman also coached Lawrence to two track and field titles while he was at the school. After retiring from teaching he moved Le Roy where he owned a bank and was also the town's mayor. Freeman passed away in 2015 at the age of 84.

  • Gerald PartridgeRuskin

    An Arkansas native, Partridge began his coaching career at Warrensburg in 1961. In 1965 he moved to Ruskin where he was the head coach until 1993. During his time at Ruskin the Eagles won four conference championships and made several state playoff appearances including a run to the 1991 Missouri Class 4A quarterfinals. Partridge finished as the longest tenured coach in Suburban Conference History and No. 3 in all-time conference wins. He also coached 123 all-conference players while at Ruskin. In 1988 he was named the Cecil Patterson Coach of the Year in the Kansas City Metro. He finished his career with a 168-152-8 record. He currently resides in Grandview.

  • Harold ReadeShawnee Mission

    Born just after the turn of the 20th century Reade came from Moran, Kan. to coach at Shawnee Mission High school during the 1930s. Reade took over both the football and basketball programs at was then the only high school in the Shawnee Mission School District. He coached both sports from 1934-55. In football he amassed a 110-38-11 record winning eight Northeast Kansas championships and one Sunflower League title. In basketball he led his team to a 235-76 mark that included nine Northeast Kansas championships and two Kansas Class 2A state titles. Reade passed away in 1974.

  • Bill RobinsonSouthwest

    After graduating from the University of Iowa, Bill Robinson began his career by coaching 6-man football, track, girls and boys basketball, and baseball. From 1957-1979 he led the football program at Southwest High School to an overall record of 129-65-18; which included 10 league championships, an undefeated season in 1968, and a state championship in 1972. He received the Cecil Patterson Award in 1977 and the Knute Rockne Award in 1966 and 1972. He was awarded Interscholastic Coach of the Year five times, and numerous Coach of the Year awards from city, philanthropic, and local media organizations. He was inducted into the Missouri Coaches Hall of Fame in 1992. As a toddler, his right arm was permanently paralyzed by polio. He never played a single down of football, but he had a deep understanding and love of the game, and his calm nature brought out the best in his players. Bill Robinson passed away in 1999.

  • Merl VenableBaldwin/ Turner

    Venable came to Kansas from his native Oklahoma in the 1950s to attend Emporia State. After graduation he started his coaching career in 1960 with stops at Independence, Kan. Junior College and Carbondale and Chickasha High Schools in Okla. In 1966 he took over the football and track program at Baldwin. During that time he won 75 percent of his games including a state championship in 1982 and a No. 1 state ranking in 1968 the year before the state playoff system began. Baldwin also finished as state runner-ups in 1971 and 1978 and was in the postseason numerous times during his tenure. After leaving Baldwin he moved to Turner from 1987-92. He was named the Kansas Coach of the Year in 1982. Venable passed away in 2012.


  • Paul BrownBlue Valley

    Brown is a Kansas City native who graduated from Olathe High School in 1973. He has been coaching since 1976 and has made a huge impact at several programs across the Metro. His coaching career began as a student assistant at his alma mater Emporia State University. After spending time at Ferris State University he was named the head coach at Turner high school in 1981. In 1984 he moved to Bishop Miege where his teams won four EKL championships and made seven playoff appearances. The Stags would make it to the semifinals three times and finish with one undefeated season. During his 15 seasons at Miege Brown was named the 1987 EKL Coach of the Year and the head coach of the 1994 Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game. In 1999 he moved to Basehor-Linwood where his teams would win two Kaw Valley League titles and make two playoff appearances during his tenure. Since 2004 he has been an assistant at Blue Valley. He has been a part of 10 playoffs teams that advanced to the state championship game five times winning three titles. Brown is a one of the founders and a past president of the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association. He is still an integral part of the success of this organization to this day.

  • Rick ByersSt. Pius X

    Byers has been one of the top coaches in the Metro for more than two decades. He began his coaching career at Fort Scott, Kan. High School before moving to St. Pius X in 1987 as an assistant. In 1995 Byers took over the Warriors and led his teams to 10 district titles, four state championship game appearances and three state titles. St. Pius X won the Missouri Class 2 State Championship in 1998, 2000 and 2002 finishing second in 1999. He has also won several conference titles over this time. Byers was named the 2001 Cecil Patterson Coach of the Year, the 1999 Kansas City Star Coach of the Year, the 1999 Kansas City Chiefs Coach of the Year and the Missouri Class 2 Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2000. Byers is currently the head coach and athletic director at Pius and resides in Olathe.

  • Greg OderBlue Springs South

    The Milan Missouri native began his coaching career as an assistant at Kirksville High School in 1986. From there he moved to Plattsburg and Blue Springs South where he helped turn the Jaguars into a Missouri state power. His first head coaching position came at Plattsburg where he had a 27-8 record in three seasons. From there he moved to Blue Springs South when the school opened in 1992 as the defensive coordinator. In that position under first Dave Ross and then Buddy Young Oder helped the program reach a 69-30 mark including an appearance in the 1995 Missouri Class 5A state Championship game. In 2001 he was named the Jaguars' head coach. In the next 16 seasons Blue Springs South would earn four conference titles, four district titles, advanced to the Missouri Class 6 championship game four times and win three state titles. Oder led his team to titles in 2006, 2011 and 2015. His final season saw the Jaguars go 13-0 to with the Missouri Class 6 title. He finished his coaching career with a 148-55 record. He retired from teaching and coaching this past May and currently resides in Parkville.

  • Forrest RovelloGrain Valley

    The Kansas City native spent four decades involved in high school football in the Metro. Rovello began his coaching career at Sherwood High School in Sherwood, Mo. as an assistant in 1983 before becoming the head coach in 1989. The next year he moved to Southwest High School in Kansas City where he was the defensive coordinator. In 1993 he took over a Grain Valley program that had struggled to find wins for almost a decade. He would build the Eagles into a consistent winner going 133-64 in 18 seasons. Over that span Grain Valley would win nine conference titles, make eight playoff appearances and three trips to the state semifinals in two different classes. Rapid growth at the school meant the Eagles would grow from Class 2 in 2000 to Class 4 by 2009 and Grain Valley made the playoffs five times during that time. Rovello has been named The Examiner Coach of the Year three times, the KMZU coach of the Year and the Kansas City Chiefs Coach of the Week three times. He finished his career as an assistant at St. Mary's and Lone Jack before retiring in 2012. He currently resides in Blue Springs.

  • Dan StanleyWestport/Winnetonka/University Academy

    Stanley was born in Kansas City and has spent the last 50 plus years working in high school and college football in the Metro. A Southeast High School graduate he went to Missouri Valley College where he graduated in 1959. From there his coaching career began as an assistant at William Chrisman and Kansas City Central before being named the head coach at Westport High School in 1964. In 1969 he moved to Winnetonka High School as the school's first head football coach. During his time there he won five Suburban Conference titles and one district title. From there he moved to William Jewell College as an assistant and then to his alma mater Missouri Valley as the head coach. After leaving Missouri Valley in 2002 he served as an assistant coach at Shawnee Mission North and Pembroke Hill. Stanley had two more stints as a head coach. He returned to Westport earning a playoff win in 2009 and then at University Academy winning a district title. He coached until 2014 as an assistant at Lincoln Prep. Stanley has been a part of 11 programs and influenced countless players and coaches during his time. He currently resides in Kansas City.

  • Steve SzcygielSchlag le

    The Kansas City, Kan. native has been a head coach at Schlagle and an assistant at Olathe North and Shawnee Mission West where he is still on staff. At Schlagle Szcygiel went 97-65 from 1992-2008 and won 10 league championships and four district titles to go along with four state playoff appearances. He was an assistant at Olathe North from 2009-10 and helped the Eagles to a Kansas Class 6A state title in 2009 and a second-place finish in 2010. Since 2011 he has been an assistant at Shawnee Mission West helping the Vikings to the Kansas Class 6A championship in 2012. Szcygiel is a long-time member of the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association severing on the board from 2000-2008. He has also been a member of the Kansas All-Star coaching staff in 1993, 1995, 1999 and 2003. He currently resides in Olathe.

  • Bob TavernaroBishop Miege

    Tavernaro is a longtime member of the Kansas City football community going back to his days as a player at De LaSalle High School where he graduated in 1960. After graduating from the University of Central Missouri he began his coaching career 1966 as an assistant at Southwest High School. From there he was named the head coach at Grandview in 1969 where he was the head coach at Grandview for 10 seasons. During that time his teams won five conference championships. In 1979 he moved to Bishop Miege where he led the Stags for five seasons. In that time his teams won three league titles, two district championships and finished second in the state in 1982. In the last three decades Tavernaro has been the head coach for the Kansas City Marine Corps Football team and been an assistant coach at Blue Valley North, Shawnee Mission Northwest, Raytown South, Blue Springs, Raytown and Bishop Miege where he is currently on staff. During his time as an assistant his teams have won four state titles and numerous league and district championships. During his career he has earned four conference coach of the year awards, been a head coach and assistant coach in several all-star games. Tavernaro has been a coach for 46 years and been a part of 38 teams that finished with a winning season. He currently resides in Kansas City.


John McCarthy

John McCarthy was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1951. He graduated from Cathedral Latin High School and subsequently attended Kansas State University. While working on his business degree, he was involved in many campus activities including starting as a wide receiver on the schools' nationally ranked football team. During his stay at KSU, he met his wife, Nancy, from Kansas City. They have been married since 1972. The McCarthy Auto Group has been successfully operating franchised dealerships in Kansas City since 1981. In that time, it has consistently been a leader in volume, customer service and profitability. Key to its success is a commitment to the communities in which it serves. The McCarthy Auto Group participates in local city governments, sits on boards of country clubs and local charities, hosts chamber of commerce events, actively fundraises for community events and provides leadership on statewide automobile industry committees. McCarthy's commitment has been shown in his support for the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association Scholar Athlete Program. The program used to honor 22 athletes with only two each receiving $1,000 scholarships. Nine years ago McCarthy stepped in and funded 22 $1,000 scholarships every year since. His support of the GKCFCA, football and high school sports in general can be seen all over the Metro.


Russ WashingtonSoutheast/MU/San Diego Chargers

Washington was one of the best football players ever to come out of the Kansas City Metro. He was a 1964 graduate of Southeast High School where he was one of the most feared linemen on both sides of the state line. He played college football at the University of Missouri where he was named the Big Eight Conference defensive player of the year and first-team All-American in 1967. Washington was drafted fourth overall in the 1968 AFL/NFL Common Draft by the San Diego Chargers. He played 15 seasons for the Chargers on the offensive line. He was named to the NFL Pro Bowl five times while earning second-team All-Pro honors twice in 1979 and 1982. He is a member of the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame and currently resides in San Diego.

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