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Brian McNamee has been serving on the Salem High School varsity football coaching staff for the last 14 years and was promoted to head coach during a closed session of the board of education March 18.

It has been 32 years since Salem High School has had to hire a new head football coach. Coach Bill Schuchardt’s resignation was accepted last month by the board.

“There are going to be some growing pains, some challenges,” said
Principal John Smith.

Those should be limited, though, by the fact that the new coach is also the old coach, Smith says. In addition to serving as the assistant football coach, McNamee is also the head track and field coach. He played football and participated in track and field for four years at Mid American Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas.

“He definitely knows the athletes. It will make the smoothest transition,” said athletic director Phil Karr. Smith stated that the search was opened up inside and outside the district, and four coaches were interviewed for the position.

The new coach isn’t worried about stepping into the cleats of the man who held the job for the last 32 years. “It’s going to be a challenge. He created a legacy. But I’m not afraid of a challenge,” said McNamee.

According to Karr, it would be wrong to think that McNamee would just be babysitting Schuchardt’s team.

“He’ll have more of a spread offense and option style,” said Karr.
Karr and Smith believe this is more in keeping with the style of play of other schools in the conference. McNamee believes this will better utilize the players he has. He says that his current team is more athletic, even though some of them have not played before. The conference is no longer playing a power game, a game of strength, but a game of express power and speed, McNamee said.

McNamee will start organizational meetings this week with a team meeting Wednesday morning and a coaching staff meeting Wednesday night.

McNamee said he is looking to draw a new assistant coach from his staff, based on the openings and needs the staff establish at their first meeting.

“I have high standards and a tough work ethic, but I think we will have a good season,” said McNamee.

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