FORT WAYNE — Coming off a fourth straight Class 2A state championship three days before, Bishop Luers celebrated with its traditional pep rally Monday at the school and will face new challenges in a quest for five in a row.
The Knights (11-4) won the school’s 11th state title Friday with a 40-28 win over Indianapolis Ritter at Lucas Oil Stadium.
They will move up to 3A next year under the IHSAA’s new success factor system, and it will come under new guidance at the top.
Steve Keefer served as the interim coach after the midseason firing of Matt Lindsay. But Keefer, who coached the program to its first state title in 1985, has always indicated his desire to return to being the freshman coach with more time for fishing and hunting.
Jim Huth, Lindsay’s replacement as athletic director, said there was a meeting Monday to discuss the process and possible interview questions for a permanent coach. He said the hope is to have a coach named by Christmas.
“Obviously there are great traditions and a great history here, so how far do we want to explore that is up to Mary (Keefer, the school’s principal and Steve’s wife) and the team we put together to take a look at that,” Huth said Monday.
“We want to make a decision relatively quickly so we can get things established and moving forward in preparation for next season.”
Huth confirmed Kyle Lindsay, the team’s offensive coordinator and Matt Lindsay’s son, will be a candidate for the head coaching position.
“It is something I have had in the back of my mind for a while,” Kyle Lindsay, a Luers graduate, said at the pep rally. “If the opportunity was presented, I would try to take advantage of it. It’s not my call, but I just love being part of this community.”
With his father’s firing, Kyle Lindsay has dealt with a lot on and off the field this year but said he is thankful to have the team, especially the senior class, to help in a difficult time.
“It is a community that rallies around during good times and bad,” Kyle Lindsay said. “Unfortunately there have been a lot of bad times this year.
“People in this building have helped support me and helped me get through this. What helped me personally was the seniors came out that first week when Coach Keefer was introduced as the head coach, and they worked their butts off. Their practice habits and work ethic really helped me. It was a relief from the outside world for me.”
Although he won’t be leading the program in the future, Steve Keefer said he expects to be a small part of the hiring process of his successor.
“I imagine I will have some input,” he said. “I am not looking to put my stamp on anybody, but I am sure Mrs. Keefer will want my opinion.”
Whoever coaches the team next season will have a young squad that will move up to face bigger schools in 3A.
“I have always enjoyed getting out of the city and playing other teams,” said Steve Keefer.
. “The tournament was always special for that reason. You play the same conference schedule year in and year out, and it is always refreshing to play new teams and meet new challenges.”