Coach Profile: Liberty North's Ken Clemens 6/15

Ken Clemens

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: June 15, 2011 - 1:44 PM



Ken Clemens has been around football north of the river his entire life and that is just the way he likes it.

Clemens went to Oak Park High School and then went to college at William Jewell. After college he went back to Oak Park as an assistant under Keith Ross before getting his first head coaching job at Raytown in 2005.Three years south of the river ended when he took over Winnetonka in 2008 before moving to Liberty North in 2010 to be the Eagles first head coach.

Clemens track record as a head coach is one of a man who turns around struggling programs. At Raytown he turned the Blue Jays back to respectability while coaching some of the best players in Raytown history including recent NFL first-round draft pick Aldon Smith.

He continued the work at Winnetonka where he took the Griffins from 0-10 to 7-5 with a conference title and a trip to the playoffs. At Liberty North last season it only took the Eagles two games to earn their first victory and North was able to add a conference win to the record book with a team that had no seniors.

Clemens said his philosophy is to make players better and everything else just flows from there.

“I like kids get better, I like watching them break out of their comfort zones and show some enthusiasm and be mentally tough,” Clemens said. “I like watching them grow.

“The first part of all of our philosophy is related to the player. The players win the games. The players are our tools. It’s our job to make them ready to play and make them better people. Everything we do is centered on the player.”

The Eagles are the only team in the Metro that returns every starter from a year ago. This season Clemens has seen a lot of growth from the team that went 2-8 last year.

“There is just a lot more happening on the field,” Clemens said. “There is a lot more movement and motion. Kids are bigger stronger and faster. Right now we are still working on that enthusiasm piece and trying to get the kids excited when they play.”

Dion Clisso is the Managing Editor of PrepsKC. To reach him send e-mail to dion@prepskc.com.