View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 7/6

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: July 6, 2014 - 5:06 PM

Every year there are a list of coaching changes and this year is no different. Some of those changes take place as early as November or December and some will stretch all the way to May.

Occasionally a move will be made in the summer and when that happens it really puts the program behind in a bad spot.

This year Shawnee Mission North found itself needing a new coach. Don Simmons left for a job in Arkansas at the end of June after just one year on the job. Simmons came from Chanute where he was very successful and was at Blue Valley North before that. His stay at North was short as he was hired late in the process in 2013.

The administration at Shawnee Mission North moved quickly and named assistant coach Ben Bartlett was named as the interim coach early last week just a few days after Simmons quit. That is a good move at a time when the Indians are right in the middle of summer workouts. In fact Simmons left the weekend before the team was due to start team camp.

It’s a tough break for North. It’s the second time in the last five seasons the program lost a coach late in the process. Dennis Grayless took over for Andy Major before the 2010 season after being an assistant.

North has its challenges as all programs do, but losing a coach in the summer or late spring can hamper even the best teams no matter what their success level.

It’s tough for a program struggling already to have to learn a third head coach in three seasons. Simmons made a career choice that was best for him and that is something that everyone is entitled to do. I know personally I make my choices on what is best for me and my family and football coaches should do the same.

North is in a tough spot but the season is not over before it starts. Good people will help young people who are committed to football improve. There are good people at North just like there are good people at every program in the Metro. It may be a hard road but I know I will be rooting for the Indians to take steps forward this year. It will be good for those involved and for football all through the Metro.

Dion Clisso is the Managing Editor of PrepsKC. To reach him send email