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For Lovelady Lions Coach “K”, Coaching Runs in the Family

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

LOVELADY –  For Lovelady Independent School District (LISD) Athletic Director Will Kirchhoff, coaching runs in the family. His father is Falls City head coach who played for the state championship last year. His wife is the LISD head girls track coach. His mom coached for 32 years. His grandfather was a coach. His aunt and uncle were coaches. His sister and brother-in-law – yes, also coaches. 

“If we are together as a family at Thanksgiving, it means someone got knocked out of the playoffs a little early,” Coach Kirchhoff joked. 

As Kirchhoff helped get the open house ready for the throng of well-wishers who would crowd the school, he sat down with the Messenger to discuss the upcoming year.

Known affectionally as Coach “K”, Kirchhoff is passionate about his athletics program. The stats show a young man already with a deep experience in coaching sports. He has been in athletics for 10 years – six at Lovelady – and beginning his fourth year as athletic director. 

Kirchhoff has put his own knowledge to use in Lovelady to create an atmosphere of success for his students. 

“What makes this place so special is the community and the culture,” Kirchhoff explained. “We have really good kids and really good kids come from really good parents. We have a strong community structure that loves the Lovelady Lions.”

The coach was coming off a scrimmage game the night before in Trinity. The scrimmage was an opportunity to see the kids in action again after the summer. The teams played set pieces as offense and defense and then one quarter “live” or more like a normal game. 

“We went one hour with our junior varsity team,” Kirchhoff said. “We have a large freshman class; we had 20 freshman playing. A little over 55 playing total. Our guys played really well. For so many of them it was their first time playing at the high school level.”

“It’s really hard to tell with scrimmages because momentum is such a contributing factor,” Kirchhoff added. “Especially in football because of the emotions that are brought into it. The controlled setting is always difficult for the kids because if you get a turn over, you can’t capitalize. They get the ball back. We worked on the little things: getting set, being disciplined and playing hard.”

Kirchhoff emphasized that for Lovelady, getting physical and always trying your best is part of their culture, no matter what the score. 

“We should not have to coach ‘effort’ in Lovelady, Texas,” Kirchhoff said. “It is built into these kids. It’s in their DNA. We can smooth out those rough edges in technique and things like that. The things you cannot teach – playing very hard and being a selfless member of a team – a lot of those things were very present last night.”

Kirchhoff praised LISD Superintendent Wendy Tullos for working through all the problems to finally get the new gym finished at the school. 

“Great things take time,” he said. “Adversity shows your true character.”

Kirchhoff teaches the kids how to tackle on the field, and how to tackle problems in real life.

“Your role in your business or in your family may change day-to-day. Go and do the best you can with what you are given. It’s not all about how many games we win or lose, but how we play the game.”

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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