Coach Profile: Paola's Mike Dumpert 10/20
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Mike Dumpert has been a part of Paola football for more than three decades. The veteran coach began as an assistant coach with the Panthers before taking over as the head coach 13 seasons ago.
In his time Dumpert has seen Paola become one of the most consistent winning programs in the state of Kansas. The Panthers have been a Class 4A power the last 30 years winning the 4A state title in 1994 under former head coach Jim Lee.
Dumpert has been a part of four Paola teams that have made it to the state championship game and most recently the Panthers were in the 4A semifinals in 2010 where they lost to eventual champion Louisburg.
There are many things Dumpert has enjoyed being a coach at Paola beyond winning league and state titles.
“Highlights would include four state championship appearances and coaching my son Noah,” Dumpert said. “Also coaching and eventually hiring my offensive coordinator Mike Smith, Defensive coordinator Todd Weaver and special team’s coordinator Dave Kane.”
His playing career began in high school in Colorado Springs, Colo. where he played for former Northwestern and Colorado head coach Gary Barnett. He would go on to Ottawa University where he began to think about coaching during his junior year.
Dumpert said he has learned a lot about coaching from Lee and Barnett along with his position coach in college Bill Bouchek who taught him how to work at the game. With all of that guidance Dumpert said he hopes his players love the game but learn other things as well.
“I would hope my players would learn that hard work is rewarding,” Dumpert said. “Also to give more than you consume and be a service to others.”
This year’s Paola team is off to an impressive 5-1 start heading into districts. Only a week No. 5 setback at Eudora has kept the Panthers from a perfect record. Even with the loss Paola is considered one of the top Class 4A teams in the state.
No matter what his team’s record Dumpert just enjoys coaching young men.
“Few job give you a front row seat to positive development and the joy in a young man’s face of doing his part for the team,” Dumpert said.
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