By Sam Ojeda
All good coaches come from good roots, and Drew Dallas has those roots firm in his foundation as a football coach.
Whether it was his dad or other people who influenced him, Dallas followed his roots and is now one of the best football coaches in the NJCAA.
Dallas’ Hutchinson Community College Blue Dragons are the No. 1 team in NJCAA football. With a record of 10-0 and a career record of 38-3, Dallas leads his team into the NJCAA semifinals at 2 p.m. Saturday against East Mississippi with all the confidence in the world.
Dallas, now in his fourth season as the Blue Dragons’ coach, has a strong relationship with his father Dave Dallas. Dave was a longtime college football coach for Ottawa University and Kansas Wesleyan. Dave said he knew that Drew was going to be a great football coach from a young age.
“I have known it since fourth grade,” Dave Dallas said. “He would come home and draw X’s and O’s on a napkin and they all made sense.”
Drew was advanced for his years, his dad said.
“He got it from a young age and was heads and shoulders above the other kids,” Dave said.
Drew Dallas agreed with his dad on the inspiration to be a coach at a young age.
“Growing up with a dad who was a college football coach, you had the practice field, game stadium, and all facilities written across from where we lived,” Drew said. “We did not need babysitters because I just went to football practice.”
The game was ingrained in the mind of Drew and there carried on at Salina Central High School and into college, where he played under his dad at Kansas Wesleyan.
“He was a competitor and a leader,” Dave said. “People looked up to him.”
Drew said he enjoyed playing for his dad and remembers what his dad did for him.
“Being around him every day in his coaching element and I learned a lot from him on how to be a football coach and to be present as a dad in my family,” Drew said.
As a player, Drew was the quarterback for a talented Salina Central team. He led them to two Class 5A state championships. He was getting recruited by his dad’s team but also other schools in the area.
“Getting recruited was interesting because I was getting recruited by other schools and by him,” Drew said.
Drew said he knew his dad deep down wanted him to come play for him. Eventually, Drew did end up as the quarterback for his dad for the last two years of his college career, after starting at Fort Hays State.
Drew eventually became a coach and his career quickly took off. In his first two years as a coach, he coached for his dad at Kansas Wesleyan, while also pursuing his masters degree.
“That is where I learned the most because dad was not my coach, dad was my boss,” Drew said.
His dad knew that getting Drew’s career started under him was important.
“Those were crucial times for him, he needed to branch out and coaching was a great experience for him,” Dave said.
His coaching career grew and Drew got opportunities at multiple NCAA Division 2 colleges, but after his spring break trip with his family to visit a school that wanted him, he had his new home. His first big position was in Texas at Angelo State University, where he was a coach at many different offensive positions and eventually turned into the offensive coordinator.
The decision was difficult but it brought excitement.
“Football is a big deal in Texas, so getting down there and coaching there for eight years was huge,” Drew said. “I was around great people and it was really important for me in my development as a coach.”
The coach Drew Dallas worked under at Angelo State was Will Wagner. Wagner said he appreciated Dallas as a coach.
“He worked hard, was very organized, and coached his position at a high level,” Wagner said. Dallas started as a Graduate Assistant and eventually became the offensive coordinator.
“When the Offensive Coordinator position came open, it was an easy decision to put Drew in that spot,” Wagner said.
After eight years at Angelo State, it was time for Drew and his family to come home. He became the offensive coordinator in 2019 under former HutchCC coach Rion Rhoades.
“It was the perfect timing for me and my family to come home,” Dallas said. “It was a time in our lives when we wanted to bring our kids back close to our family. Bringing them back up here at an important time in their life was huge.” Dallas said.
Dallas became the 18th coach in Blue Dragon history on Dec. 31, 2019. In his first full season, they won the NJCAA during the Covid-delayed spring 2021 season, and finished runner-up last season. His team has won four conference titles in as many years.
“Having the interview and getting the job was a great opportunity and move into this role.” Dallas said. “The most important thing I am really enjoying is the people involved in the program and how awesome they are. It takes a village to be good at anything and the community here understands that.”
Drew Dallas’ success as coach is immense, and Drew Dallas the coach and the man came to be what they are because of the roots he came from and the experiences he has had along the way.