By Melanie McGee, For Kansas Pregame
Posted: January 24, 2012 - 11:07 PM
Tyler Hampton is returning to a familiar part of Kansas to start his head coaching career with the Ellsworth Bearcats.
Hampton was the defensive coordinator at Clearwater during the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons, and he was an assistant at Hoisington for six seasons prior to that. He was named the next EHS head coach Jan. 9.
Hampton is a native of western Nebraska, and said Ellsworth was just what he was looking for in a new hometown.
"The location of the town and size of the school are just what my family was looking for," he said. "We love the geographical location, the size of the town and the 3A size for a school setting. Ellsworth has an excellent school system with a tremendous staff and administration. A great school system is certainly an attractive feature."
Hampton and his wife Amy have two daughters, Kaylee (5) and Makena (2). According to an article in the Ellsworth County Independent-Reporter, the family plans to relocate to Ellsworth as soon as possible following the school year.
Hampton will oversee the Bearcats' summer strength and conditioning program and team camp, and he plans to take players to another team camp during the summer.
"Plans are being made to attend a contact team camp," he said. "Implementing new systems on offense, defense and special teams is no small task. It will be a step by step process, and we understand that. Our players will give great focus, attention and effort into learning these new systems and creating future successes."
Hampton will also teach weight conditioning and some social studies at Ellsworth Junior/Senior High School. Ellsworth Superintendent Eric Reid said Hampton's record as a teacher was a big reason he was chosen from a field of 20 candidates.
"Hampton is proven as an excellent classroom teacher and a successful assistant coach," Reid said in an interview with the Ellsworth County Independent-Reporter. "I'm very excited. I think that he is going to bring some excitement and a lot of enthusiasm. I've checked his history and he relates well with kids. He wants to do things the right way and he's a very good communicator."
Reid was searching for a coach that was a teacher first, and he feels that Hampton fits the bill perfectly.
"He teaches lifelong lessons first, not just blocking and tackling," Reid said. "He knows that it's not about just winning games. He wants the kids to be the best that they can be."
Hampton is looking forward to joining the Ellsworth community and continuing to improve the Bearcat football program.
"I am very excited to become an Ellsworth Bearcat and am looking forward to getting started," he said.
Ellsworth, under the direction of veteran coach Ken Windholz, reached the Class 3A playoffs in 2011 but were bounced by Smith Center in the bi-district round.
That experience was yet another thing that attracted Hampton.
"The football program has been successful and there is a foundation to build upon," Hampton said.
Windholz resigned in November after 12 seasons with the Bearcats and 20 years of coaching high school football. He posted a 43-69 record and finished his career at Ellsworth with two of his best back-to-back seasons, going 6-4 in 2009 and 2010. In an email to Kansas Pregame/Kpreps.com, he said he believed a coach should be "all-in" and after 20 years of coaching, "I wasn't sure I could be all-in."
Windholz will move into a full-time administrative position as the EHS athletic director and assistant vice principal.