Olathe East High School football coach Jeff Meyers has been fired on the heels of his first losing season since 1999.
Meyers took the job when the school opened in 1992, and his teams compiled a 163-74 record in 23 seasons. The Hawks made it to the substate round of the playoffs on six occasions, and his 2005 team finished second in Kansas Class 6A.
Olathe East had qualified for the state playoffs the past 13 consecutive seasons before missing the playoffs this year.
“When that hits you in the face and you’re not prepared for it, it takes a little while to gather yourself,” Meyers said. “You have to start making plans and decisions about what is best for you and your family.”
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Meyers said he met with school administration about a week and half ago for an annual review and was informed that they wanted to make a change. He was told he needed to resign or would be released from his coaching duties.
Meyers asked for a few days to make his decision, but received an email and a letter informing him of his release on Monday. His position was also posted on the district website.
Olathe East athletic director Kraig Taylor declined comment.
The Hawks this season were 3-1 this season, then lost their last five games. They also dealt with an injury in Week 2 to senior linebacker James McGinnis, who collapsed on the field and was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery to relieve swelling and stop bleeding around his brain.
“Every year coaches face different challenges and this was a year that we faced an extremely difficult challenge,” Meyers said. “It plays a part for a team, especially when it happens at the beginning of the year. It was a season of different types of challenges.”
Meyers said he has already started looking for other coaching opportunities and would like to stay in the Kansas City area.
“I know that I want to continue teaching and coaching because that is my life passion, so that is where I am at — pursuing opportunities to try to continue my career as a teacher and football coach,” Meyers said.
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