By Adam Kolb / Co-Sports Editor

Drew Dallas was the assistant coach and offensive coordinator for the Hutchinson Community College football team last year, but with the departure of Rion Rhoades, he now takes over the spot as the 18th head coach in Blue Dragon football history.

As the offensive coordinator last season, Dallas led the 2019 Blue Dragon offense to a No. 1 ranking in the Jayhawk Conference and a No. 3 ranking in the NJCAA in scoring average at 44.8 points per game. The team also ranked 10th in the NJCAA in total offense, averaging 419.6 yards per game.

With so much success as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator, Dallas is ready for the next step in being a head coach. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he’ll have to wait a little longer than expected to coach his first game.

“Fortunately, we are scheduled and set to play a spring season, and, currently practicing and working towards that opening game in March,” Dallas said. “It has definitely been a unique challenge with all the uncertainty and fluidity surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are really striving as a program to just be great at what we are tasked to do each day.”

Dallas and the Blue Dragons will make their debut on March 26 at home against Coffeyville.

Even though this is Dallas’ first year as a head coach, he’s been around coaching for a long time, as his father was a head coach for more than 25 years. Dallas has also been influenced by many other coaches in his career.

“I grew up around it, was raised on a practice field and just really enjoyed the influence and relationships that are built through the coaching profession,” Dallas said. “Every coach I have played for or been around has had some sort of influence on me. You can always learn something from anyone and that is extremely important to embrace in this profession.”

Dallas also gives a lot of praise to Rhoades, whom he said he feels set high expectations for this team. The Blue Dragons went 10-2 last season with those two losses being by a collective three points. Dallas said he also plans to add his own twist on the team, while continuing the same things that made Blue Dragon football so successful.

“Our goal is simple,” Dallas said. “Not only will we try and meet those expectations, but find a way to raise those expectations both on the field and in the classroom.”

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