Varsity Kansas

Former assistant coach John Dawkins has died

Longtime assistant football coach John Dawkins died on Sunday. Check Tuesday’s Eagle for a column from Bob Lutz. I’ve heard some great stories about Dawkins, who was an assistant at Collegiate and Southeast, among others.

I just went back and read a story that Bob Lutz wrote in 1995. I couldn’t find it online, but trust me, it was excellent.

Check out this excerpt below:

Dawkins is to many high school football coaches what the Majarishi Mahesh Yogi was to the Beatles. Coaches flock to Dawkins for advice and to gain knowledge from a man they say knows more about football than anyone they know. “I think John Dawkins is absolutely the best football coach ever,” said former Wichita Southeast and Goddard head coach Dennis Cavalier, who now is at Pampa, Texas. “He is just a marvel.” “With John, they broke the mold,” said Wichita Southeast coach Dan Johnson, who coached with Dawkins at Southeast during the Buffaloes’ golden years in the mid- to late-1970s. “I still go to clinics with him. We were in Kansas City and there were coaches who just went after him; guys from out-of-state who just know John Dawkins. Anywhere Dawkins goes, he’ll look for something to write on – a piece of paper, a napkin, a wall if nobody is looking – and he’ll diagram plays. He’ll scratch away for hours, legs folded, puffing a cigarette. Football is an addiction for Dawkins, one of many he has accumulated, so deciding whether to get out of coaching definitely qualifies as one of those Catch 22s. If Dawkins quits, he knows he’ll be miserable. He knows he won’t have anything to do, except maybe work on fixing up his large collection of golf drivers. He is pretty sure he would go crazy. But if he returns to coaching, without getting his priorities in order, he’ll feel guilty. He’ll wonder why football has such a strong hold, and wish it didn’t. He’ll wonder how to get along without it.