HOF Coach Profile: Olathe North's Bud Wheeler 6/14

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: June 22, 2016 - 11:12 AM

Wheeler was the football coach at Olathe High School starting in 1975 and is widely credited with turning the town into a football power. When Olathe South opened in 1981 he became the school’s first head coach and held that position until 1995.

Gene Wier and Jeff Meyers were on his staff during his time as a head coach. Wier would follow Wheeler and lead Olathe North to six state titles. Meyers just finished a successful two decade run at Olathe East that saw the Hawks in the playoffs for 13 straight seasons. Current Leavenworth and former Olathe South coach Mark Littrell was also an assistant under Wheeler.

"Bud had a huge positive impact on my life — not only as a teacher and a coach but especially just as a person also," Meyers told the Olathe News in 2008. "I think there's just thousands and thousands of former players that could say the same thing."

Wheeler’s teams won eight EKL titles and one Sunflower League title.

"He not only had to get kids and parents to change their culture of athletics, he had to actually get coaches to change their culture and develop new work habits," Wier told the Olathe News in 2008 "I always respected him because he would never back down from a battle. Bud was probably the best competitor I've ever been around.

"He taught us how to turn it (around) and everything else falls into place after that — after you get an idea of what it takes to win," Wier said. "How to run a program and what it took to have a program be successful — that's what I learned."

Wheeler passed away in 2008.