Leader of the Lions

New football coach takes over with high expectations


Emily Kruse

New head football coach, Steve Rampy, calls a play from the sideline during the annual fall sports Jamboree. Rampy, who is entering his 40th season of coaching, was hired this past spring following the retirement of former coach Dirk Wedd.

By Emily Gordon-Ross, Staff Writer

Lawrence High welcomed new football coach Steve Rampy following the retirement of  long-time football coach, Dirk Wedd, last year.

This year will be Rampy’s 40th year teaching and coaching, having just transferred from Pittsburg State University where he worked as the offensive coordinator for eight years. Before that, he spent 29 years in the Blue Valley School District as a football coach and gym teacher.

When he first heard about the Lawrence job, he said he was not interested.

“Coach Wedd is a long dear friend of mine,” Rampy said. “I’ve known him for 25-30 years. I knew he was going to retire, and he had told me at the time I needed to take the job. I really wasn’t interested at the time, but as things happened, I became interested. I interviewed and got it.”

Rampy has been involved in football for most of his life.

“When I first got to junior high I had really great, caring coaches,” Rampy said. “I didn’t really know what athletics were about until I got to junior high, but they kind of sparked an interest in me.”

Moving through high school and then college, Rampy continued to play football. He loved the game, but had not yet considered it a career option.

“I love the intricacies of [football], the strategies behind it now at my age,” Rampy said. “I’m kind of an outside-the-box thinker. I was an art major when I first went to college, so I think that helps me a bit with the creative part.”

Rampy decided to be a football coach because he had a passion for it and a passion to teach others about it.

“To me, it’s the best game there is, because it requires athletic abilities and body shapes and sizes,” Rampy said. “All shapes and sizes can play it, and it requires more teamwork than any other game does. It demands it…That’s always appealed to me, the relationships of the game. I love it.”

Originally, Rampy wasn’t interested in even applying for the job. However, the appeal of a new town and a new challenge intrigued both him and his wife.

“The town itself is very interesting for my wife and I,” Rampy said. “We’ve never been here, never lived here so it’s got a lot of neat things. The tradition of the athletic programs here, the expectations of excellence in not only the classroom but on the athletic field both. I think they expect kids to do really well both athletically and academically.”

As for the people in Lawrence, Rampy has been impressed with the Lawrence High spirit throughout the town.

“Lawrence itself is a very close-knit town,” Rampy said. “You can’t walk down the street and have a Chesty Lion shirt on without someone asking you about Lawrence High, and that means a lot to the people here. Winning isn’t everything, but it has to matter, and it matters here. They want us to do well, they want us to compete and have a good program, and we’re going to.”