High School Sports

April 30, 2014

Scott Schaefer hired as William Chrisman girls basketball coach

Former Gardner Edgerton and McPherson coach will replace Lindsay Thompson.

The William Chrisman girls basketball program is moving on without Lindsay Thompson.

Less than a week after students wore T-shirts to school to voice their displeasure in Thompson’s firing, William Chrisman announced Wednesday that it has hired Scott Schaefer to take over the program.

Schaefer, who spent the previous nine seasons at Gardner Edgerton, has compiled a 476-176 career record. Before his stint at Gardner Edgerton, he won four state championships at McPherson.

His new gig offers unique circumstances.

“There’s still a spot in their hearts for (Thompson),” Schaefer said. “There’s room in people’s hearts for more than one person.”

Schaefer held an introductory meeting with his new team Wednesday morning. He admitted sensing some anxiety and apprehension from a group of players who spent the last four weeks urging the school to re-hire Thompson.

Thompson was fired on April 1, a move she said “blindsided” her after coaching the team to three conference championships in seven seasons.

A group of her players responded by writing letters to the Independence School District Board of Education, launching a Twitter account to drum up publicity for their movement and wearing T-shirts to school, with “Dub-C Loves Coach T” across the front and “#TeamstrongTakeover” and “#SaveCoachT” written on the back.

Schaefer said he addressed the situation with the players Wednesday.

“Everyone faces (adversity). It’s how you react to it,” Schaefer said. “Whether it’s Lindsay talking to them or me, how are you going to react to it?

“From my perspective, as far as coming here, what happened before me, I have nothing to do with. I’m just interested in what happens after today.”

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