Football, basketball coaching staffs change

Macy Rice

More stories from Macy Rice

This year, a number of sports will be under new leadership. Among those hired are head football coach, Chris Jaax, along with multiple assistant coaches, as well as head boys basketball coach, Andy Hill. The new assistant football coaches include Mike Moore, Brandon Steed, Fred Schmidt, Max Switzer, Patrick Watson and Zach Reed.

“I have met with all of our new coaches. I think they are all high-character men who love their sport and want to share their knowledge with our students,” Athletic Director Brian Becker said. “So far they have created a lot of excitement and I expect a lot of positive things from them.”

As the head coaching positions are highly sought after, multiple candidates were interviewed.

“We had a large number of applicants for (the head coaching) jobs, so we had a good pool of individuals to pick from. All of our head coaching candidates came to us, and most of our assistant coaches came to us as well. After meeting the potential coaches myself, they were then approved for hire,” Becker said.

Jaax, who had previously coached for Bishop Carroll Catholic High School for ten years, believes he has a wide variety of skills to bring to the new team.

“I have been a part of a championship caliber program that played for four state championships and made the semi-finals in nine of 10 years. I think it has given me great experience at providing an environment and developing a culture that is going to let our young men reach their full potential. I think the biggest issue for all coaches is developing a team culture that prepares and challenges athletes to be their very best,” Jaax said.

Jaax wants to bring more than just new plays and good technique to the team and his players.

“I care about the success of our student/athletes both as a team and as individuals. I want to be a positive mentor for the young men in our community and in our football program,” Jaax said. “I expect us to be a team of young men the school and community are proud of.”

Position: Head football coach
Teacher on special assignment
Previously coached at: Bishop Carroll Catholic High School
Position: Head basketball coach
Math teacher
Previously coached at: Andover High School, Wichita Northwest High School

Hill was assistant coach at Andover High School for two years and assistant coach at Wichita Northwest High School for six years.

“I’ve coached in two very different systems under head coaches that had differing approaches. I have tried to learn from the good and the bad at both places and to bring those lessons with me to Newton,” Hill said.

Hill has very high expectations for his players and this upcoming season.

“I expect to have a team that competes hard every night and plays together through adversity. I never make predictions for number of wins, but we will be a competitive team who is not easy to beat,” Hill said. “My goal is to get my players to understand how hard we have to play to give ourselves a chance to win night in and night out.”