New SM Northwest coach has title experience
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
The search for a new head coach at Shawnee Mission Northwest is over. The school has announced that Linn Hibbs will be the next coach taking over for Aaron Barnett who stepped down to take an administrative position at the beginning of May.
Hibbs comes to Northwest after coaching at Wellington, Kan. Hibbs coached from 1996 to 2011 winning Kansas 4A state titles in 2001 and 2002. Wellington made the playoffs every year during his tenure and had the longest such streak of playoff appearances in Kansas history.
Northwest Athletic Director Richard Grinage said Hibbs was chosen from a deep field of candidates and that they were thrilled with the quality of those candidates given the timing of the hiring.
“The guy is an extremely talented coach and we are excited and lucky to get him here,” Grinage said. “We had a number of qualified candidates but he stood out among the rest. The fact that we could get him here because of our timing is just good for everything we are doing here.”
The excitement is shared by Hibbs as he makes the move north from Wellington.
“First of all it’s a great area and after visiting with the people at Shawnee Mission Northwest, Mr. (Richard) Grinage the athletic director and Dr. (Bill) Harrington the principal,” Hibbs said. “I just feel it’s just a real great situation as far as teaching for myself. Obviously the football program has had a good program here recently and I think this is a good fit for me and my family.”
Hibbs spent last season as an assistant coach and was ready to get back into the head coaching business. The move to Shawnee Mission Northwest in the biggest class and biggest conference in Kansas really drew Hibbs to Northwest.
“When I called to get information about Shawnee Mission Northwest the thing I kept hearing over and over again from almost everybody I talked to in and out of the coaching profession was how difficult the league was,” Hibbs said. “Basically it is one of the toughest leagues in the state. That’s good from what I gather and if you apply common sense is if you can win in the Sunflower League on a consistent basis you will compete on the state level.
“How quickly we can get to that level at Northwest I’m not sure but that is definitely the vision. It’s going to be exciting our kids playing against some of the best kids in the state and coaching against some of the best coaches in the state. It brings a lot to the table and it is something we are looking forward to getting involved with.”
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