High School Sports

Olathe West tabs T.J. O’Neill to be first head football coach

Seven months before it officially opens the doors for its inaugural school year, Olathe West has secured a head football coach.

Olathe West, which opens this fall, hired Mill Valley assistant T.J. O’Neill as its first football coach.

“Having the opportunity to be a head coach was something I’ve always thought I wanted to do, and it’s an especially unique opportunity to start a program from scratch,” O’Neill said. “It was the perfect (fit) for me.”

O’Neill spent seven season with Mill Valley — the initial five as a defensive coordinator and the most recent two as offensive coordinator. Mill Valley won the Kansas Class 5A state championship in 2015 and 2016.

Because the Kansas State High School Activities Association schedules football in two-year cycles, Olathe West will not have a varsity football team next season, instead fielding junior varsity and freshman teams. It will begin its first varsity season in fall 2018.

“We’re going to try our best to make (the 2017 season) as close to the varsity experience as possible so when we get to next year, we’re ready to go,” O’Neill said.