Ten months ago, Bob Timmons decided he wanted to be a high school volleyball coach. So the retired Kansas University track coach sent letters to every high school within a 30-mile radius of Lawrence.
On Monday, Baldwin High answered.
On Wednesday, Timmons accepted.
"I'm really pleased," Timmons said. "I think Baldwin's system is a good one. I'm excited. I'm looking forward to it."
Timmons, who'll turn 68 in nine days, stepped down at KU in 1988 after 23 seasons. During his tenure, Kansas track teams won 27 Big Eight and four national titles.
Prior to coming to Lawrence in 1965, Timmons was a high school coach in Caldwell and in Emporia, and at Wichita West and Wichita West. During his prep coaching days, he was in charge of football, basketball, swimming and track teams, but never volleyball.
WHEN HE realized last September that he missed coaching, volleyball seemed natural.
"I wanted a fall sport and a strategy sport and a sport I'd never coached before," he explained. "I wanted the excitement of newness like I had when I was basketball coach at Caldwell."
Timmons could find some similarities between his first prep job at Caldwell and the volleyball post at Baldwin. At Caldwell, Timmons lost his first 11 games. At Baldwin, he inherits a program that's been down for more than two decades.
"Down is kind of an understatment," Baldwin High athletic director Gordon Wakeman said. "It's been nowhere. We can't even compete in our league. We've had a real struggle. I don't recall a winning season in 19 years."
That's OK with Timmons. He likes a challenge, too.
"WE'RE GOING up," Timmons said. "I'm gonna work whatever (hours) it takes."
Whatever it takes will net Timmons less than $3,000 because it's a part-time non-teaching post that runs from mid-August through the end of October.
"Golly. . .that's eight times more than what I got for coaching four sports at Wichita East back in 1964," Timmons said.
Baldwin is certainly happy to have him.
"I think Timmy will put some real organization into the program," Wakeman said. "As far as I was concerned, we couldn't jump fast enough to get him."
Last year's volleyball coach, Roger O'Neil, resigned the part-time post to take a full-time post as girls basketball coach at Atchison High.
TIMMONS IS so happy Baldwin hired him that he doesn't even mind the school's colors are the same as Kansas State's.
"I get to wear purple and white," he said good-naturedly, "and not be ashamed."