Sideline Pass: Jim Bradford 4/25
By Jim Bradford PrepsKC Senior Writer
Football has always been a vital part of Jesse Owen’s life. Playing football was all he ever wanted to do. Then once his playing career was over, coaching football was all he ever wanted to do.
And when it came to coaching—just like when he was wearing the uniform— everyone soon found out that he was good at it. Really good at it.
After more than a decade as an assistant at Olathe North, Owen took that final step toward that ultimate goal this week. Following a unanimous vote by the school board Monday night, Owen is the new head football coach at Eudora.
The secondary and special teams coach at the school he helped win their first of eight state titles, Owen replaces Kevin Kopecky as the Cardinals head coach. Kopecky resigned after just one season at Eudora. He led them to a 5-4 record and the Cardinals missed the playoffs for the first time in a long time. Kopecky replaced Gregg Webb at this time last year when Webb took over as the head coach at Truman High School in Independence, Mo.
Owen will be looking to get the Cardinals back to the Class 4A state playoffs, where they have been so successful of late, having advanced to the state title game in 2011 and 2012.
Eudora’s gain is certainly a huge loss for Olathe.
Owen grew up in the shadows of Olathe North. As a kid, he would walk to football games at old Marshall Ensor Field behind North—where the Eagles played before their games were moved to ODAC in the early 1990s. There he would watch the Eagles slowly build themselves into one of the best teams in the state.
Then, Owen donned the crimson and blue and led the Eagles to their first state championship in 1996.
After a standout football career at Pittsburg State University, Owen was back at North and has spent the last decade as an assistant on the team he grew up idolizing and helped win a state title.
Returning to the sidelines to coach was what Owen was supposed to do.
And after earning his stripes with on the Eagles staff, taking a head coaching job is what he is supposed to do.
He’s earned it.
Yep, Eudora’s gain is definitely Olathe’s loss.
Jim Bradford is a senior writer for PrepsKC.
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