Head football coach steps down after 21 seasons with Cats
By Christopher Tenpenny
Harrisonville head football coach Kyle Schenker announced his resignation from the position Monday after accepting the defensive coordinator position at Ozark High School.
Schenker has spent the last 21 years on staff of the Harrisonville football team, taking over as head coach in 2019. He leaves with a career record of 17-15.
Schenker said the opportunity to work at Ozark High School came out of nowhere and the process went quickly.
“A couple weeks ago they called me up and completely caught me off guard,” Schenker said. “That’s a place we knew we would end up when we retired and it’s a good opportunity for me and most importantly my family.”
Schenker has been on the sideline for the past five state championships and has been synonymic with Wildcat football since 2001.
Former head coach and current Harrisonville Athletic Director Brent Maxwell said the school and community is going to miss the Schenker family.
“I have the utmost respect for Kyle and what he’s done for this community,” Maxwell said. “He’s been a great friend and we are going to miss him. When I was coaching and he was the defensive coordinator, it was like having another head coach in the room. When I stepped down, it was a no-brainer to ask him to take over.”
Schenker said he liked being a head coach, but that there was something about being in charge of the defense.
“My sweet spot is being a defensive coordinator,” Schenker said. “I loved every bit of being a head coach, but being on the defensive side has always been my comfort zone.”
Schenker spoke to the football team Monday to tell them the news. Schenker said there were a lot of tears and hugs shared.
“We had a good talk, heartfelt,” Schenker said. “It was really good closure for me and I hope for the kids, as well. We were able to have one last breakdown before going our own way.”
While Schenker and his family are excited for a new chapter to begin in the Ozarks, there were a lot of memories made during the past two decades in Harrisonville.
“It’s the people that make a place and we stayed for so long because of the people,” Schenker said. “We didn’t plan to leave yet, but it just came up. We are a big believer in God’s plan and God’s got his hand on my back, guiding us to our next place. It’s a perfect situation for me and my family and we are excited.”
Schenker’s wife, Amy, currently teaches second grade at Harrisonville and will teach third grade at Ozark Elementary School.
With the departure of Schenker, the search for the next football coach will begin.
“With it all happening so fast, we still have to sit down and come up with a hiring plan,” Maxwell said. “Once we’ve decided what we are looking for, we will start to the process of hiring a new head coach.”