Longtime prep high school coach Kevin Kopecky charged with felony theft

08/06/2014 10:16 PM

08/06/2014 10:16 PM

Longtime Kansas City area high school football coach Kevin Kopecky has been charged with two counts of felony theft, according to Leavenworth County District Court records.

Kopecky, who’s coached a combined 16 years at St. Thomas Aquinas, Leavenworth and Eudora, is alleged to have taken $2,888.50 from Leavenworth Unified School District 453.

The charges reference two dates: Jan. 19, 2011, and Jan. 12, 2012. Jake Potter, the school district’s director of public relations, said in a news release that the district first filed a report to the Leavenworth Police Department in December 2013, following an internal investigation relating to missing funds and equipment from the football program.

“The district became aware of the accounting and inventory issue in August 2013, when a vendor made contact seeking payment for a past due invoice for athletic equipment,” Potter said in the release. “The Leavenworth School District has turned the matter over to local law enforcement and will continue to fully cooperate with the Leavenworth County district attorney’s office.”

Kopecky made his first court appearance July 23 and waived formal reading of charges. He is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 20 for a preliminary hearing.

“I am really not supposed to respond,” Kopecky said. “I’ve never been in any legal trouble before and I think it will all go away, but everyone is making a big deal of it before it has even gone to preliminary court. People have to do what they have to do.”

Kopecky directed further questions to his attorney, Jason Billam, who declined to comment.

Kopecky, who has 27 years of overall coaching experience, posted a 7-21 record at Leavenworth in three seasons (2010-2012), with one state playoff appearance.

Before coaching at Leavenworth, he coached at Aquinas for 12 years. There, his teams made 11 playoff appearances and was a Kansas Class 5A state finalist in 2008. He left Aquinas after being diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a rare but painful and potentially life-threatening skin condition caused — in Kopecky’s case — by a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics.

Most recently, Kopecky coached at Eudora High School, where he went 5-4 last season and resigned in March. His overall coaching career record is 162-123.

To reach Kathleen Gier, call 816-234-4875 or send email to kgier@kcstar.com.

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