Wichita Heights football coach Rick Wheeler has announced his resignation as coach of the Falcons, but will remain the athletic director for the school.
According to Wheeler, the decision was made because it was best for his family.
Wheeler has led an impressive turnaround for the Falcons, who routinely struggled in the Greater Wichita Athletic League when he took over in 1999. Wheeler finishes his coaching career at Heights with a record of 110-37. In the 37 years of football before Wheeler took over, the program won 74 games.
Since that time, his teams have become one of the 6A powers, including trips to the state championship game in each of the past three seasons. The Falcons won the 6A title in 2010.
The Falcons also won or tied for a GWAL championship in six of the 13 years Wheeler served as head coach.
Hutchinson knocked Heights out of the 2012 playoffs last week in the first round, with a 42-7 loss.
As athletic director, Wheeler has also helped build a sports program which has won four straight state boys basketball champions, two straight girls basketball champions, and a wrestling championship.
Below is the statement sent to CatchItKansas.com by Wheeler.
I feel blessed to have worked with many young men and coaches, who believed in a vision, and made countless sacrifices to change forever what “Heights Football” represents. This morning I meet with our players and informed them that I am stepping down as the Head FB coach at Heights HS. I will remain in my current position at the Athletic Director. I returned to Heights in 1999 to take over the program where I basically started my coaching career and for the last 14 years I have been fortunate to lead this program and compete at the highest levels possible in our state. I will always be grateful to Marc Haught for giving me the opportunity to return to Heights as the head coach. For any HS coach to be successful in today’s world there has to be tremendous support from the administration. I have had that support from our administration throughout my tenure as the football coach.
I believe that this decision is best for my family and myself, and I have the continued support of my wife Konnie and daughter Madison. The Wheeler family will never be able to express our appreciation for the support that we felt from the Wichita community after Regan passed in March of 2010. I am proud to be a part of this community.
Rick Wheeler -CAA
Wichita Heights HS
AD- Head FB