Bishop Miege head football coach Jon Holmes and retired Smith Center head football coach Roger Barta have been selected by the Coach Bill Snyder Family/Sunflower Chapter of the National Football Foundation to receive special recognition awards for the 2019-20 academic year.
Holmes, who has been the head coach for the Stags for eight years and with the program for 16 years was named the Don Fambrough Coach of the Year. The legendary late Kansas head football coach, Fambrough was also a member of the Jayhawks 1947 Orange Bowl team.
Barta, who built the Redmen football dynasty, was selected for the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Jon and Roger are indeed worthy of the recognition and our admiration for what they have done in instilling character in their programs and building champions,” chapter president Gerry McGuire said. “Both have great respect among their peers and we congratulate them.”
Holmes has an overall record of 88-14 and has led Bishop Miege to six consecutive state championships (2014-2019). After the 2019 season he was named Kansas Coach-of-the-Year by the Topeka Capital-Journal. A Miege graduate, he earned his degree from Missouri-Kansas City in Social Studies Education in 2007 and a masters from Baker in Sports Management in 2019.
Since 2012, the Stags have had 40 first-team all-state players as well as another 20 that have received second team or honorable mention accolades. In that same period, eight players have been named Topeka Capital Journal/Wichita Eagle All State Top 11 players. Since 2012, 53 Miege grads have gone on to play in college, including 23 at the FCS/FBS level. Currently, there are 23 active Stags playing collegiately.
Barta graduated from Plainville High School in 1963, received a bachelor of science in mathematics from Fort Hays State in 1967, and earned a masters of mathematics education degree from Georgia in 1971. He enjoyed a long teaching and coaching career at western Kansas high schools including Atwood and Trego Community High School in WaKeeney. The last 35 of those years were spent at Smith Center, where he retired from teaching in 2007 and as head football coach in 2012. He had amassed a career record of 323-68, which included eight Kansas state championships. Barta was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2011 and the State of Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.
He was featured in the September 2009 issue of Reader’s Digest in an article titled “Life Coach Roger Barta: How a high school football coach built a championship dynasty by never playing to win,” by Joe Drape, a sportswriter for the New York Times. In November of 2007 Drape wrote another article about Barta, “A Football Power in a Small Kansas Town” that appeared in the Nov. 9 issue of the New York Times. Drape also wrote a book about Barta’s career at Smith Center High School titled “Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen” in 2009.
The 2019-2020 Individual Scholar-Athlete Awards will be announced in early June. These awards recognize excellence in academics, football and community leadership.
About the Coach Bill Snyder Family/Sunflower Chapter NFF
The Kansas Chapter received its National Football Foundation Charter Nov. 25, 1991 at halftime ceremonies of the Kansas-Missouri football game. It then evolved into the Jayhawk Chapter and later transitioned to the Sunflower Chapter This year, it was renamed the Coach Bill Snyder Family Sunflower Chapter. It’s mission is to recognize outstanding high school seniors who excel on the gridiron, in the classroom and as leaders in their schools and communities. More than 300 high school football players from the state of Kansas have been honored by the chapter since its inception in 1991. Dillon’s Food Stores, which maintains a large presence in the state of Kansas, sponsors the chapter awards program and banquet.
About the National Football Foundation
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, the National Football Foundation (NFF) is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people.
About the NFF Chapter Network
The NFF Chapter Network, spread across 120 outposts in 47 states, serves as the pulse of a nationwide effort to encourage leadership, sportsmanship and academic excellence among America’s young football players. The first meeting to discuss the formation of chapters was held by the Cincinnati Club in 1954, and today more than 12,000 passionate members carry on the legacy of the early pioneers, which is simply to Build Leaders Through Football. Collectively, they host more than 300 events each year, reaching more than 500,000 football players at 5,000 high schools.