Oder, Applebee are Chiefs Coaches of the Year

By Submitted to PrepsKC
Posted: December 23, 2015 - 11:35 AM

The Kansas City Chiefs have announced the recipients of the 2015 Missouri and Kansas High School Coach of the Year awards. Blue Springs South’s Greg Oder (Missouri) and Mill Valley’s Joel Applebee (Kansas) each received this honor after strong performances by their respective teams throughout the 2015 high school football season.

As a result of this accolade, Oder and Applebee will each be presented with their official trophies and a certificate recognizing their selection at a ceremony Sunday, Dec. 27, at Arrowhead Stadium before the Chiefs take on the Cleveland Browns. Additionally, both schools will receive a grant of $1,775 from the Hunt Family Foundation designated for player health and safety equipment and/or education.

Head Coach Greg Oder and the Blue Springs South Jaguars finished their 2015 season 14-0 with a Class 6 Missouri state championship, the third championship in school history. The Jaguars ended the regular season with a record of 9-0, the team’s best record in years. Their offense scored an average of 34.4 points per game and the defense held opponents to 14.3 points per game. The Jaguar’s prolific offense scored 27 or more points in every game since week one and scored 37 points or more in every game of the playoffs.

Blue Springs South opened the 2015 playoffs with a dominant performance where they defeated Troy Buchanan High School 56-0. Blue Springs South headed into the championship game averaging 47.8 points per postseason game. The Jaguars completed their historic season by defeating Christian Brothers College, the defending Class 6 Missouri state champions, 37-28. The Jaguars collected their third state championship within the last 10 seasons, all against the Christian Brothers College Cadets.

"I am honored to be selected by the Chiefs and the fellow weekly award winners,” Oder said. “While I accept this award, the credit really goes to my 13 assistant coaches and all the players who worked hard from the offseason until the final whistle of the state championship game. Everything we have achieved this year is truly a team effort and not the work of just one person."

Oder has been the head coach of the Jaguars since 2001, and has been a member of the coaching staff since the school opened in 1992. He began as an assistant coach after spending three years as head coach at Plattsburg. Oder served as defensive coordinator under Dave Ross, as well as Buddy Young. As an assistant, he helped lead the Jaguars to the playoffs three times in their first four years, including a run to the Class 5A Missouri state championship game in 1995.

Oder has more than 100 career wins to his name. He is a graduate of Truman State and received his Master of Education at Lesley University. Currently, Oder is a physical education instructor at Blue Springs South High School and previously taught math. He finished his career on a high note as he announced his retirement last week.

In the 2015 season, Joel Applebee led the Mill Valley Jaguars to a regular season record of 8-1 and a number one ranking in the state of Kansas.  Mill Valley had a high-powered offense, averaging 41.3 points a game, while holding opponents to less than 12.6 points per contest. Early in the season, Applebee coached the team to a thrilling victory over Derby 27-20, where he had previously served as the defensive coordinator.

The Jaguars entered the playoffs with a 48-0 win over Turner in their final contest, and collected a fourth-consecutive district championship. The Jaguars ended their remarkable season with a dominant 35-14 win over Bishop Carroll in the state championship.  For the first time in school history, Mill Valley is the Kansas 5A state football champion.

"I would like to thank the Chiefs organization and the NFL for this great honor,” Applebee said. “The honor is a direct reflection of our assistant coaches on staff, our high school administration and the great community that is Mill Valley."

Applebee led the Jaguars to an 8-1 regular season record, a district title and a state championship this season. He has been the head coach of the Jaguars for six seasons and has managed the team to the Kansas 5A state football playoffs in all of them. For the Jaguars, it was not only the team’s first trip to the state championship as a football program, but it was also the first title in any sport in the school’s history.

During the 2013 season, Applebee steered the Jaguars to a historic finish, as they went undefeated in the regular season, marking the first 10-win season in school history. Applebee was chosen as the 2013 Sports Highlights Unlimited Kansas City Coach of the Year and was selected to be on the coaching staff for the 2013 Shrine Bowl. In 2014, Applebee was honored as a part of the coaching staff of the 2014 Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game.

Applebee is a physical education teacher at Mill Valley High School. He is a graduate of Kansas State and has a Master of Educational Leadership and Administration from Fort Hays State. He and his wife, Amanda, have three children.

The 2015 High School Coach of the Year program is a joint initiative of the Kansas City Chiefs and the National Football League. It is designed to recognize and reward Kansas City area high school coaches who are shaping today’s youth and tomorrow’s leaders. This includes coaches that champion philosophies which advance and promote player health and safety.

Greg Oder and Joel Applebee were selected by a poll from all of their respective state’s 2015 Missouri and Kansas Coach of the Week winners. Throughout the fall, the Chiefs recognized a different coach on each side of the state line that set a benchmark among his profession. As a result, the winning coaches received a $500 grant and a certificate recognizing their selection, were presented with congratulatory footballs autographed by Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid and became eligible for Coach of the Year for their state.