SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — Dick West said it’s time for a change.
So this week he stepped down as the football coach at Shawnee High School.
In 15 years at Shawnee, he compiled a record of 67-84.
He took the Indians to their only playoff appearance in 2004, when they lost to Columbus DeSales in the first round, 20-10, to finish 9-2.
“It’s always tough (to quit),” West said. “I love coaching, but wanted a change. I want to see how everybody else lives.”
West said he will remain on at Shawnee as a math teacher.
He did say he doesn’t plan to coach at the younger grades.
“I’ll probably stay out of it,” he said. “I don’t think it would be fair for me to be putting my two cents it.”
As for how he’ll spend his time, West said, “I like to golf and ride my bike.”
West took over at Shawnee when the program was on the bottom. Before he came, the Indians compiled back-to-back 1-9 seasons. In the five years prior to West arriving, the Indians compiled a mark 6-44.
In West’s first year, in 1998, Shawnee went 0-10. But in 2003, he had the Indians at 7-3, their first winning record since 1991.
Then, from 2003 to 2009, Shawnee went 7-3, 9-2, 4-6, 7-3, 7-3, 7-3 and 7-3.
“Making the playoffs (was a highlight),” West said. “That was our best year and we had several 7-3s and just missed the playoffs. … Shawnee was down when I got here and we got them going.”
Shawnee finished this year 2-8, but had injuries to key starters.
“I think we’re on the verge of being really good,” he said. “We had some injuries this year and the cupboard isn’t bear.”
West grew up in Hartford, Wis., where he played high school football. He went on to play linebacker at Xavier University and was on the school’s second-last team in 1973.
Before coming to Shawnee, he was the head coach at Heidelberg College for 14 years (1984-1998) and compiled a record of 64-74. He was a two-time Ohio Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, winning it in 1998 and 1993.
“There were neat thing coaching at college and there are neat things with high school,” West said. “It’s hard to compare the two. I enjoyed coaching the kids. I’ll miss spending time with the kids and watching them grow up and go off to college.”
Shawnee Athletics Director Dick Heath said the process for finding the next Shawnee coach is in the early stages.
"I met with Mr. Wade, our principal, to see what direction we're going to go and how to set up the process," Heath said. "We'll probably wait until sometime in December to get a better feel for what (teaching positions) might be open or might not be open. We're hopeful of attracting a quality coach.
"We're very thankful to Dick West for his contributions and we've been fortunate to have him for many years at Shawnee."