Hours after the Republic school board approved him Tuesday as its new high school football coach, Wes Beachler made all the expected comments about why he pursued the job: Good leadership, good town, good conference.
But he saved his best line for when it came time to talk about Republic High School’s weight room.
“The facilities are great. But we’re going to have to go work in them. We’re not going to do any good with bodies just standing around,” Beachler said.
Consider it the opening salvo to what Republic hopes becomes the start of something special, given Beachler’s track record — one that includes a stop at Parkview High School, where his new superintendent, Chance Wistrom, was the principal during his days there.
Beachler took a Parkview program that was two years removed from a 58-game losing streak and repositioned the Vikings for better days.
He was 8-42 there, but that was after losing his first 24 games. The 2010 team, his final season, ended in style, as a last-second field goal defeated Glendale and qualified the Vikings for the Class 5 state playoffs for the first time since 1995.
Since then, Beachler has coached at Nevada, a program that had only 12 wins in six years — and yet is 14-7 since his arrival, plus saw its participation numbers increase from 50 to 83.
“What made him stand out was that, at the three schools he was at before, they struggled but he turned them around in a fairly short time period,” said Republic athletic director Greg Garton, who confirmed the board’s vote. “Coach Beachler has a can-do attitude. I think he can motivate the kids and give them some confidence they’ve been lacking.”
Beachler’s hiring comes about three months after Republic did not re-hire Kurt Thompson.
Thompson, who won state championships in 1992 and 1993 at Webb City but never duplicated that success since, was 24-37 in six seasons at Republic. He also previously coached at Kickapoo.
Beachler, who has four boys ages 12, 10, 8 and 3, had left Parkview in order to coach in a town with one high school. Given his family and his wife’s family is based in northeast Kansas, it was assumed that Nevada would be home for years.
“I did, too,” Beachler said. “But I didn’t expect this opportunity. And the fact Chance was the superintendent was pretty compelling.”