Young resigns as MHS football coach

By Steve Sell
December 18, 2014
Kendall Shaw

Tom Young, who dramatically changed the football fortunes at McPherson High School after more than two decades of mediocrity, announced his resignation today.

Young was a tremendous 75-22 at MHS in nine seasons, leading the Bullpups to the playoffs each year. Before Young’s arrival in 2006, the Bullpups had not made the playoffs since 1988. From 1989 to 2005, the Bullpups were 46-107 with three winning seasons.

In all, Young coached for 44 years at Hanover, Wellington, Derby, Leavenworth and MHS. He produced state championships at his first three stops, then spent two years at Leavenworth before coming to McPherson. His final record was 343-111.

"What Tom Young has done at McPherson High School has been amazing, both on the field and off," MHS Athletic Director Shane Backhus said. "He has changed the football culture in the entire community, turning the Bullpups into one of the most successful programs in the state over the past nine seasons."

He was more than a football coach, Backhus said.

"In addition, the Speed, Power and Strength program he has developed at MHS has benefited our athletes in all areas," Backhus said. "Tom is a person of high character who has positively affected countless lives over his 44 years as a teacher and coach.  I wish Tom, and his wife Shelia, all the best as they move forward with the next chapter in their lives.  I can not thank Tom enough for the passion and dedication he has shown for his players and teams over the years and the countless hours that he has put in the Bullpup program during his time here.”

Young will continue his teaching duties for the rest of the school year. The search for his replacement will begin immediately. 

Young's first team produced a 6-4 record, but the next five years the Bullpups lost only two games each season. The highlight year was probably 2008 when MHS was 10-2 and defeated Class 5A power Bishop Carroll — led by current Oklahoma standout Blake Bell — 20-14 in the sectionals before losing to eventual state champion Hutchinson in the semifinals. Both Bullpup losses that year were to Hutchinson.

The 2012 MHS team was tremendous as well. After knocking off Andale 42-36 in an exciting second-round game, MHS had eventual state champion Holton on the ropes before giving up a long touchdown pass in the final minute to lose, 31-27. That team also finished 10-2.

Young met with his team this morning to notify them of his resignation. The Bullpups were 7-3 this past season, including upset wins over state powers Buhler and Hays.