TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - It's not just the end of an era for Topeka High football with star seniors Ky Thomas and Davonshai Harden wrapping up their standout careers. The Trojans will now have to find a new coach too.
Head coach Walt Alexander is stepping down from his position at the school, Alexander and Trojan athletic director Erich Singer confirmed to 13 News on Tuesday. The Topeka Capital-Journal first reported the news. Singer said the school has not yet started its search for a replacement.
Alexander said this decision is partly a financial one for he and his wife, as he's able to retire now. He does plan on returning to coaching after a year of retirement.
"When I got here, I said I was going to stay until I could retire and that's what we've done," Alexander said. "And we've accomplished about everything that we can accomplish at Topeka High. It's time now for somebody else to maybe take them to the next level."
Alexander most recently led the Trojans to a 10-2 season that saw Topeka High make it to the 6A semifinal round for the first time since 1973. He led the program for 14 years and took it over when 23 of the 24 seasons prior to his arrival were losing campaigns.
Since 2008, Alexander had just two losing seasons with the Trojans. The past four seasons saw T-High improve in the playoffs each year, advancing a round further than the previous one with each season.
"Everybody said that we couldn't win here," Alexander said. "Everybody said it couldn't be done. Many good men have tried, many good men have failed. You're just not going to take those inner city kids and be a competitive football team.
"And that's what drove us. And the more people that said that we couldn't do it, that's what drove us to work even harder."