Gene Wier, the legendary Olathe North football coach who guided the program to six Kansas state titles, is leaving the school to take an off-field position in the KU football program, a source told The Star on Monday.
Wier, who also spent nine years at Richland High School in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is set to become Kansas’ director of high school relations, a role that will deal heavily in recruiting.
It’s the latest staff addition for new Kansas coach David Beaty, who was officially hired on Dec. 5. Beaty retained defensive coordinator Clint Bowen and is expected to retain running-backs coach Reggie Mitchell, who continued to recruit during the early part of December. In addition, Beaty is expected to bring on Northern Illinois linebackers coach Kevin Kane in a similar role at Kansas. Kane, a Rockhurst High graduate, played linebacker at Kansas during 2002-05.
At his introductory news conference, Beaty, a former high school coach in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, spoke about the importance of recruiting both locally in the state of Kansas and in the fertile grounds of Texas. In his position as director of high school relations, Wier should be able to tap into his connections in both areas.
Wier’s departure, meanwhile, leaves a vacancy at Olathe North, which advanced to the Kansas 6A state semifinals this season before losing to eventual state champion Shawnee Mission East. It was Wier’s third season back at Olathe North after leading the program through its dynasty years in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The Eagles won six state titles in seven seasons from 1996 to 2002.
During his first 22 seasons at Olathe North, beginning in 1981, Wier coached the Eagles to an 188-36 record while nurturing a conveyor belt of stars, including future K-State and NFL standout Darren Sproles and future Division I standouts Arland Bruce (Minnesota) and Maurice Mack (K-State).
Weir departed Olathe North in 2003 for the head coaching job at Richland High School in North Richland Hills, Texas. A graduate of the University of Kansas, Wier’s son, Brandon, also played football at Kansas during 1998-2000.