www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

Royals' starters rest in win -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

Monarchs, Cardinals seek first win -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Royals drop game at Cleveland -9/25/2014, 10:26 AM

UTEP football coach Sean Kugler hopes to build a program that can emulate Kansas State -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Indians hit the road -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants, Redskins trying to avoid steeper climb in East -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

KVA prep volleybal rankings, Sept. 24 -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS soccer falls at Great Bend -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS takes third at Salina South Invitational -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

No. 8 Washburn too much for Tigers -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

Tiger defense continues to get stronger -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Two wins for TMP volleyball -9/24/2014, 10:27 AM

TMP soccer rolls to win -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Ventura dominates Indians as Royals push for postseason -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All


myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Cornelsen takes over a dynasty in Hutch

Published on -1/8/2014, 10:43 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

By BRAD HALLIER

Special to The Hays Daily News

HUTCHINSON -- Seventeen years ago, some football coaches questioned why Randy Dreiling would want to coach at Hutchinson High.

One of the worst teams in the state at the time, Hutchinson was viewed as a place a coach could not win. For good reason. The Salthawks were mired in a 26-game losing streak and didn't win a district game during the 1990s.

Dreiling, who came to Hutchinson as a Salina South assistant, showed you could win at Hutchinson. He built one of the greatest dynasties in Kansas history by winning seven state championships from 2004-2011, and he took the Salthawks to the playoffs 13 times in his 17 seasons.

Dreiling resigned last month to become the coach at St. Thomas Aquinas in Overland Park.

Tuesday, Ryan Cornelsen said he was certain some of his peers were questioning his decision to become the next Salthawks' coach, but for vastly different reasons.

"Honestly, I think a lot of people in my profession think I'm crazy for following someone that successful," said Cornelsen, who has spent the last five years reviving what was a mediocre Hays program. "But I'm confident in the way I do things. I know we'll play a tough schedule, one of the toughest schedules around, but I'm confident.

"I looked at a lot of things, but first and foremost, Hutch is a place where football is extremely important and successful. In Kansas, it's been at the top. Your goal as a coach is to get to the highest level and stay there, and Hutch has been there for quite a while."

Cornelsen has a solid resume. He coached La Crosse from 2003-2008 and helped build the Leopards into a Class 2-1A state power. In his six seasons in La Crosse, Cornelsen went 53-13.

Cornelsen spent the next five years in Hays. The Indians went to the 5A playoffs in 2011 and 2012 -- their first playoff berths since 1995 -- and Cornelsen's worst record in those five years was 6-3. He went 35-12 at Hays, and he has coached the boys track team to four straight state titles.

"I'll be honest -- I'm extremely proud of what we accomplished," said Cornelsen, who will also be on the Salthawks' track coaching staff. "These kids had an incredible work ethic. Football is important to them. This, no doubt, was the most difficult decision I've had to make in my career. Hays is such a great place to live. It's a tough place to leave, but I feel the opportunity and challenge in Hutch was what was best for my family and my career."

The seed for Cornelsen's hiring might have been planted during that 2011 season. Hays won a district championship and played host to Hutchinson in the first round. While the Salthawks ended up winning the state championship that year, they had their closest playoff game that night, beating Hays 27-21.

Just two years before, Hutchinson smashed Hays 56-0 in Cornelsen's first season. The year before Cornelsen took over at Hays, the Indians lost 69-0 to Hutchinson.

"We played them a couple of times, and it was a night-and-day difference from the first time we played them," Hutchinson athletic director Eric Armstrong said. "It was a completely different ball game. I remember how hard those kids played, and I didn't remember seeing that the first time we played them."

Coaching is in Cornelsen's blood. His father Gary -- who will be on staff at Hutchinson -- was the architect of the Liberal dynasty that featured appearances in the 5A title game every year from 1991-1997. Liberal won titles in 1992, 1995, 1995 and 1997.

Hutchinson Community College football coach Rion Rhoades, like Armstrong, is from Liberal. Rhoades was a senior on the 1992 team.

"The funny thing is, when I took the job here and started recruiting at LaCrosse, I was blown away with the similarities Ryan and his dad have," Rhoades said. "Everything, from the way they walked to the way they talked. I think Ryan's a winner. He's seen how to be a successful high school coach since he was a kid. He strikes a good balance of being a players' coach and running a tight ship."

Cornelsen said he met with the Hays players on Tuesday morning to tell them he was moving to Hutchinson. He said he expects to coach Hays' track team again this spring.

Cornelsen also said he expected to meet with the Hutchinson players today and begin to lay the groundwork for next season.

"I'm not going to go there and try to reinvent the wheel," Cornelsen said. "That said, things will be done in a different way. They've been so successful with the flexbone, and our scheme in Hays was similar in the approach, concept and reads. It'll be done in a different way, and we'll be a little more balanced."

What all this means in terms of wins and losses remains to be seen. Hutchinson will have a strong senior class next season, and the district is tweaked with Wichita Northwest replacing Maize. Games against Garden City and Dodge City remain, and those are teams Cornelsen knows well from coaching in Hays.

While it's going to be next to impossible for Cornelsen - or anyone at any school - to replicate Dreiling's success, Rhoades said nobody should dismiss Cornelsen.

"I think it is possible for someone to be as successful, as long as everyone is open with a new way of doing things," Rhoades said. "This is a new chapter of Salthawk football, and I'm excited about it. My boys are in sixth and seventh grade, and I'm excited for them to be a part of a great program."

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos