Steve Rampy leaving Lawrence High after three seasons to become head coach at Staley

photo by: Carter Gaskins

LHS head coach Steve Rampy is frustrated with a previous play Friday night at Hummer Sports Park. THS defeated LHS 56-35 on Friday, Nov. 8.

Lawrence High School football coach Steve Rampy will be leaving the program to become the head coach at Staley High School in the Kansas City area, the schools announced Saturday.

Rampy, who led the Lions to an 18-11 record in three seasons at the helm, told the Journal-World that he hadn’t been planning to leave Lawrence High, but that when Staley’s administrators reached out to him this past week to offer him the head coach job, “the offer was so good that I couldn’t say no.”

“I wasn’t really pursuing any job very hard,” Rampy said. “(But) when one of those schools call, you have to take the call and you have to listen to them.”

Rampy will replace former Staley coach Phil Lite, who retired after the 2020 season. Lite was only the second head coach in the program’s history. He went 50-14 over five seasons and helped guide the Falcons to a state title in 2017. Before Lite’s tenure, coach Fred Bouchard posted a 77-20 overall record between 2008 and 2015, which included a state title in 2011.

“Staley hasn’t been around for very long,” Rampy said. “They’ve had two great coaches in Fred Bouchard and Phil Lite. The program has been in really good shape. I just have to go try to add my stamp to that.”

Rampy, who replaced 19-year Lawrence High coach Dirk Wedd in 2018, certainly added his stamp to Lawrence over the past few seasons.

Prior to joining LHS, Rampy spent eight years as an offensive coordinator at Pitt State, and the team won an NCAA Division II national championship in 2011. Before that, he was a head coach at Blue Valley for 25 seasons. He led the Tigers to four state championships and eight title game appearances.

Because of all that, Rampy had a clear idea of how to run a program. His practices at LHS were fast-paced. He also incorporated his run-pass option offensive system, which allowed the Lions to put up a lot of points.

Most of all, Rampy helped Lawrence get back on track as a program by establishing a culture that the entire team bought into right away.

“I think we did a pretty good job of establishing a family culture at Lawrence High,” Rampy said. “I think that’s always going to be important at any good program you talk to. I think they bought it.”

Lawrence went 1-8 in Rampy’s first year in 2018, but the team was among the best in the state in the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

After going 8-2 in 2019, the Lions went 9-1 this past season and were the No. 1 team in Class 6A for much of the year. They were ultimately eliminated by eventual state champion Derby in the Class 6A quarterfinals.

Rampy met with his team via Zoom on Saturday to tell them he was leaving. He said he still believes that Lawrence is going to be in a good position moving forward.

“We had a great run the last couple of years,” Rampy said. “They are going in the right direction. They are going to be OK next year and the year after that. I’m proud of what we did. I feel good about what we did the last few years.”

Rampy will finish out the spring semester at LHS. He plans to meet the Staley football team next week and to be involved with them in a limited capacity until he can fully transition to his new role in the summer.

LHS, meanwhile, will begin its search for a new head football coach.

“While it is difficult to see (Rampy) move on, I’m excited and eager to begin the search for the next head football coach at Lawrence High School,” LHS Athletic Director Nick Wood said. “We will make sure to do our due diligence to find a candidate who recognizes and honors the history and tradition of Lawrence High football, while at the same time moves us forward into the next chapter of excellence.”


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