Wichita Wild interim coach Morris Lolar, who has steadied the franchise after a disastrous start, is almost a lock to take over as the permanent coach of the Indoor Football League team.
The Wild, coming off consecutive appearances in the conference championship game, was 0-5 when veteran coach Ken Matous was fired and replaced with Lolar, an assistant on the team's staff.
A former star at defensive back for Wichita South High and Friends University, Lolar has gone 5-3, including a victory at Bloomington, one of the top teams in the IFL.
Lolar can enhance his resume further tonight when playoff-bound Bloomington (9-4) visits Hartman Arena in the season finale for the Wild (5-8).
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Lolar said the Wild's front office has made it clear that he's the choice to lead the team: "After my first couple of weeks, the organization came to me and said 'You're our guy.' "
However, Lolar said he wanted to wait until after the season for contract discussions to avoid "possible distractions." The 40-year-old, who has Canadian Football League experience, is optimistic a deal will be reached.
"I'd be lying if I said I didn't see me taking the job," he said. "I coach football. That's what I want to do.
"But it has to be the right situation, the right fit."
General manager John Blazek has said he won't discuss the coaching situation until after the season is over.
Lolar has the support of two key players.
Star receiver Clinton Solomon said he likes Lolar's enthusiasm and inspirational halftime speeches. Quarterback Phil Staback loves Lolar's aggressive style.
"I can't tell you how many times during the week we hear him say, 'Hit 'em in the mouth,' " Staback said. "I like that mentality."
Notes — The Wild upset Bloomington 20-18 on Dylan Pohlman's fourth quarter field goal in the first meeting between the teams on April 29. "We better come to play (tonight)," Lolar said. "The first time up there I think they took us lightly and we snuck up on them. This time, they'll be gunning for us."... Bloomington has the IFL's No. 2 defense, allowing 31.6 points per game. The Wild gives up 45.8, but only 33.5 in the past six outings.... Bloomington quarterback Rocky Hinds is fourth in the IFL with 2,032 passing yards.