After featuring Mexico varsity assistant coaches Adam Barnett and Travis Blevins recently, this week we're speaking with Ken Grubb and Kyle Louder.
Chapter Three: Kenneth Grubb
There are several themes and schemes within the Mexico high school varsity football coaching staff that may not be completely evident at first glance.
For assistant coach Ken Grubb, the reasons he keeps coming back are several-fold, but, just like the rest of this crew, being around one another and teaching the next generation about Bulldog Pride are two aspects of life he'd hate to be without.
"I coach to make a difference in young men's lives. I believe that athletics parallel life in many ways and strive to use the lessons learned on the field to teach life lessons," said Grubb. "I coach with intensity and work at being as excited when players do right, as when I am correcting them."
Now entering his fourth season coaching on the Mexico gridiron, Grubb's official title with this team is running backs coach and defensive coordinator. But, based on his background and the role he plays in practice and at camps, there's not much he doesn't have experience with when it comes to prep football.
That's because his resume' includes two years as an assistant coach at Orrick high school, two years as a student assistant coach at William Jewel College and two years as the Moberly defensive coordinator.
While that's more than enough by itself, Grubb also coached linebackers for three years at Huron University, for two years he was the defensive coordinator and strength and conditioning coach at Bacone College and then he returned to Huron to hold those exact same positions for two years. From there he went to Kansas for two years to be the defensive coordinator/running backs coach at Valley Heights HS and worked as an assistant coach for two years each at Highland HS and Odessa HS.
Just to put an exclamation point on this long list off accomplishments, Grubb became head coach and assistant athletic director at Highland for four years, as well.
"I made some of my best friends playing sports and several of my coaches had more influence in my life than anyone who was not family," Grubb said. "I coach because I want to be like those men."
Prior to all this success Grubb's athletic journey began playing high school football at South Shelby HS. He was even recruited by William Jewel College, but after suffering a career-ending injury, Grubb's focus turned from the goal line to the sidelines.
Chapter Four: Kyle Louder
The tradition that comes along with Mexico athletics is far from lost on Kyle Louder. Instead, this Bulldog grad. has followed the path blazed by a large number of local patriarchs like father and current Mexico softball and baseball varsity coach Keith Louder.
"I grew up around Mexico football. My dad coached for 20 some years before moving over to softball," said Kyle Louder. "I was coached by Steve Haag and Coach Baker when I was in high school, so being able to now coach next to them is awesome."
Currently Kyle Louder is the wide receiver and cornerbacks coach for the Bulldogs. What makes him qualified to hold these positions is that not only did he play football, basketball and baseball during all four years of high school, but he was also on this staff under the previous head coach in 2012.
"I took a year off and then was hired again when Coach Haag took over 2014. First and foremost I love being around the athletes. I think that they teach me as much as I try to teach them," Kyle Louder said. "A close second is how much fun we have as a coaching staff. During the season I spend more time with the other coaches then I do with my soon to be wife, Danielle Ingrum (assistant softball coach). We probably spend more time talking about things unrelated to football as we do football."
When it comes to helping the Bulldogs put points on the board, what makes Kyle Louder different from a lot of receivers coaches is the style of offense this team runs. That means the work he puts in with those athletes is probably more akin to what tight end coaches teach based on the skill sets necessary to earn playing time at that position.
"I am probably one of the more laid back coaches on the staff. Our receivers aren't traditional receivers in that we spend more time blocking than we do catching footballs," said Kyle Louder. "I have a great group of position players that I don't have to get on because of their effort. I can instead teach game plan and technique. Defensively Coach Grubb does a great job changing things week to week. I enjoy teaching defensive game plans to the corners and letting the great group of athletes get the job done."
Because of the pedigree of the individuals who helped him turn athletics into a life-long pursuit, Kyle Louder is well-versed in the value of the pursuit of wins and losses. Now he's hoping to play that same role in the lives of Mexico's current athletes, especially when it come to standing back up after getting knocked down.
"Athletics teach kids so much about what life is about. To be successful you have to work and be uncomfortable and do things that aren't fun," Kyle Louder said. "Even with all of that work you can still end up with an outcome that you do not want. Then no matter what the outcome is you have to go right back to work he next day or people will catch you."