There was Butler, and then there was Garden City not far behind.
For most of the 2000s, that was the hierarchy in the Jayhawk Conference football ranks.
But at some point in the last decade, the Broncbusters fell by the wayside. The final result of which was a slide over the last two years unheard of in western Kansas — back-to-back losing seasons of 4-5 in 2009 and 3-6 this season. Both years, Garden City missed the Region VI playoffs.
The end result of the losses was the resignation of fourth-year coach Lucas Aslin last Wednesday.
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The future, Garden City athletic director Bob Larson hopes, will be something completely different.
"You go around the Jayhawk Conference and you see everybody is making improvements, from Highland all the way up to Butler," Larson said. "And we have not. There was never a problem with Lucas; there was a problem with the whole culture of the program that seems to have gotten behind the curve. And we need to change that.
"You get a kid that's trying to decide between us and Butler and Hutchinson, and they come here and they see our weight room and then they go there and see a new stadium and a new locker room and a new practice facility... it becomes an even tougher sell."
The Busters haven't been to a bowl game since 2005.
Friday, Larson said he was already in the midst of a coaching search.
"We'll find the right person for the job," Larson said. "And hopefully get this thing turned around. Nobody is happy with how things have gone."
Mitchell, Goff sign — Two players from the Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team signed national letters of intent Monday with NCAA Division I schools.
Joe Mitchell, a 6-foot guard from Wichita Southeast, signed with Ohio University. Robert Goff, a 6-8 forward from Indianapolis, signed with Oklahoma.
Mitchell posted a career-high 37 points against Weatherford (Okla.) on Nov. 6 and is averaging 19.5 points and 4.3 assists this season after being named an All-Jayhawk West selection last season.
He's the first player in Hutchinson to sign with Ohio.
Goff sat out last year after transferring from Cowley and made his season debut last weekend against the Tabor JV and Hesston.
Goff is the first player to sign at Oklahoma since Nate Erdmann in 1995, and the fourth in school history. William Davis (1988), current Hutchinson women's coach John Ontjes (1993) and Erdmann were the others.
Bowl announcement today — Top-ranked Butler Community College will hold a press conference today at noon in the Hubbard Welcome Center on the El Dorado campus to announce its bowl destination.
The Grizzlies, 11-0, are expected to play in the Citizens Bank Bowl on Dec. 5 against No. 2 Navarro (10-1) for the national title, a rematch of the season opener for both teams.
Hutchinson dropped five spots to No. 10 in Monday's NJCAA poll and will host the Salt City Bowl on Dec. 4. The Blue Dragons will make an official announcement on their opponent this afternoon.