Shawnee Dispatch

Diebold done as Cougars coach

Shawnee Mission School District chooses not to renew long-time Northwest football coach's contract

November 22, 2005

After 20 years of coaching football at Shawnee Mission Northwest, Scott Diebold's days have come to an end.

In a meeting with Associate Principal Eddie Lyday and athletic director Jeremy Boldra last Thursday, Nov. 17, Diebold was informed that his contract as head football coach for the Cougars would not be renewed for the 2006 season.


Though not entirely surprised by the district's decision, Diebold expressed disappointment with the way the situation was handled.

"I knew there was a lot of talk out there, and there was some grumbling," Diebold said Monday morning. "I had some feelings, but I was hoping that they would give me at least one more season and let me coach my son as a senior."

For his part, Diebold feels short-changed by the treatment he has received regarding the coaching decision.

"It was unprofessional," Die-bold said regarding the disclosure of the coaching change. "They would not give me a reason for the decision. They said they wanted to go in a new direction. What that means, I don't know. They wouldn't tell me. Truthfully, I can live with not being head coach, but I'm upset with the way I was treated after 20 years of service. As a person who has given 20 years of my heart and soul to this school and the kids, I feel I was treated unprofessionally."

When contacted regarding the decision to not renew Diebold's contract, Lyday was bound by policy in commenting on the reasons for the decision.

"All those are personnel issues and I can't comment on those publicly," Lyday said Monday morning.

"Coach Diebold's 20 years of service are greatly appreciated," Lyday added.

Lyday briefly commented about the process the Northwest administration would follow in hiring Diebold's successor.

"Our search is not going to be a limited search," Lyday said. "We'll do whatever we can to bring in the best person. We'd like to get it done before our staffing in February, but if it takes longer we'll just have to go by that."

Lyday said the Northwest administration hoped to find someone who can foster connections with students, players, parents and colleagues.

"You want someone who can come in and form relationships," Lyday said. "You've got to have the relationship piece in there. The candidate should be a teacher first -- someone who is passionate about teaching. I think teaching carries over to the football field and it's there where you extend that knowledge."

For now, Diebold plans to carry out the remainder of his responsibilities as Northwest football coach even though he has no plans of remaining at Northwest past this school year.

"I'm just going to continue to take care of kids," Diebold said. "Right now, I'm working with the senior football players, trying to make sure the right schools get a look at them. I've already told next year's seniors that they're going to have to take the reigns. There's great kids here at Northwest.

"I would love to continue to coach because that's been my passion for the last 20 years," Diebold said. "I have no idea what my future will be, but it won't be here."

In the midst of the turmoil surrounding the coaching change, Diebold finds solace in his memories as the leader of the gridiron Cougars.

"I think back to '96 when we were 7-2, or '02 when we were district champs, or '03 when were district and regional champs," Diebold said. "I've seen a lot of kids come out of here and be successful. I think about kids like Ryan Lilja (now a starting offensive lineman for the Indianapolis Colts). It's relationships with kids like that -- it's about taking care of kids; teaching them responsibility and making them accountable for their actions. The players have been supportive about this and they've been very good at reacting. And I'll be here for them. I'm going to continue to take care of my kids."

The Cougars finished the 2005 season with a record of 2-7. Diebold won his last game with the Cougars, as Northwest defeated Leavenworth, XX-XX, in the final game of the season.

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