Photo by Lucy Morantz
New head football coach Fred Bouchard said he has made “about a 1,000 plans” for the 2018 season since his hiring was approved by the SMSD Board of Education Jan 22.
As he steps into the leadership of a team ringing in 10 wins in the 2017 season, he sees their impressive record, the appeal that drew him here.
However, Bouchard boasts an impressive record of his own.
The lifetime coach feels fortunate to have been able to improve in his previous coaching positions. Staley High School, his most recent head coaching position of three years ago was a startup program. With no seniors, the team came out with a record of 9-3. When Bouchard took over Harrisonville High School, the team’s record was 1-9, but by the end of the season claimed 8-9.
“I’ve stepped into rebuilds before,” Bouchard said at a parent meeting Jan. 31. “This is not one of those.”
Current head football coach, Phil Lite of Staley High School, took over when Bouchard decided to retire his head coaching position. The 17-year-long coaching partner labeled Bouchard a master motivator and one of the best coaches in the state of Missouri.
“He’s the best I’ve ever seen when it comes to organization of a football program and staff,” Lite said.
past success of leading his teams to five different state titles, and plans to use the same vigor with East. What used to be two-hour practices, will stretch to three. Bouchard recommends non-multi-sport athletes try out a spring sport, preferably track.
Many current players are excited to experience football in the eyes of their new coach, one of these players being Junior Cooper Lovelace.
“He’s energetic, like Delaney,” Lovelace said.”He was a district AD and he was tired of the paperwork, and I think that’s why he was so energetic — I would be, too.”
Three years ago, Bouchard left his head coaching position at Staley High School for the position of Executive Director of Student Services, overseeing maintenance, custody and all students athletics in the North Kansas City school.
As a district official, Bouchard wasn’t able to interact with his students in a positive way as he used to — when he sent over 100 former players onto college athletics. With his daily visits to their AP psych classes and after school practices, the dream road to college athletics became a reality.
The urge to get back on the sidelines grew too strong, and applied for his sixth head coaching position in early January.
“I don’t sit still very well. I still have plenty of work to do, I think, and hopefully plenty to offer,” Bouchard said.
The past couple of weeks, Bouchard has been re-interviewing current position coaches for a better look at what strengths on a coaching staff are best for East. Which, according to him, will largely consist of standing coaches, but the team can expect some new faces.
According to sophomore Joe Krause, not many players worry about losing their positions.
“Depending on the offensive and defensive schemes players might get moved around more to accommodate the formations.” Krause said.