Coach Corner: Sam Knopik 1/4
By Sam Knopik Pembroke Hill Head Coach
Coach Lee Flappan walked the Pembroke Country-Day sidelines for 12 seasons from 1964-1975. I enjoyed visiting with him at various alumni events in which he would share his PCD stories with me.
Like many Kansas City area coaches of his generation he built his own philosophy off veterans such as Cecil Patterson for whom Lee worked for as an assistant coach at Southeast High.
One of Coach Patterson's tools that Lee shared with me was when it came time to select the starting 11 the staff would choose one player. That one player was then charged with choosing the next player. Those two players chose the third and so on.
He said it was a wonderful testament to accountability. Lee said it would be easy to assume this practice would turn into a popularity contest but in reality the boys always chose appropriately and sometimes to the surprise of the staff.
Lee told me once when I asked him about leaving Pembroke that even though he chose to take an opportunity to coach at a larger school in the area his heart was always at Pembroke Country-Day. He said this was where his friends were. All three of Lee's sons graduated from Pembroke Country-Day.
In conversations with teachers still on staff who knew him, Lee received the greatest of all compliments from a former colleague. “I never heard Lee Flappan ever say a negative word about another person. Ever.”
Below is Lee Flappen’s obituary.
Lee Flappan (Coach) was born January 20, 1929 and passed away December 17, 2012. He had a wonderful marriage with his wife of 63 years Mary Lou. He had three sons Ken, Bob (wife Susan), and Jim and four grandsons: Jason, Michael, Bradley and Daniel Flappan. Other survivors include many beloved nieces, nephews, and their families.
He grew up in Kansas City. He was an Eagle Scout and a member of the Tribe of Mic-O-Say. He worked his way through college, graduating from William Jewell College, where he lettered in football and track. He was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. Lee also had a Master’s Degree from Central Missouri State University. He enlisted in the Coast Guard and was Assistant Director of basic training. He taught at Southeast High School, where he was an assistant football, basketball, and track coach. He taught science at Pembroke Country Day School, where he was head football coach and athletic director. He is in the Faculty Hall of Fame at Pembroke Country Day. He was head football coach at Lee's Summit High School and retired from Ruskin High School where he also coached football. He taught swimming to thousands of kids and managed various pools in the Kansas City area.
He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. Everyone called him ‘Coach.’ Family meant everything to him. After Lee retired, he volunteered at St. Joseph Emergency Room for 15 years. He was active in the ROMEOs organization and SMART men at the Jewish Community Center. He loved to work-out and kibbitz with his friends six days a week. He always had a positive attitude and lived many of the quotes he often repeated like: “Everything I had I gave, what I did not give was lost forever.” The family suggests donations to the Sports Facility at the Jewish Community Center or the charity of your choice.
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