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SMNW Football Coaches

Football Coaches

Coach Bo Black

Bo Black

Bo Black brings 19 years of consistency and winning to NW as he embarks upon his first year in leading the Cougar Football Program.

After concluding collegiate football at Emporia State University in 1995, Coach Black began his high school coaching career with a 5-year run in Lancaster TX as the team’s Offensive Coordinator, quarterback coach and off-season strength coordinator.  In 2001, Coach Black took control the Great Bend KS high school program and led the Panthers on a memorable and successful 13 year journey highlighted by –

  • A 65% winning percentage
  • 9 conference championships
  • 4 regional championships
  • 2 sectional championships
  • State runner-up in 2006

Coach Black moved on to Hays KS in 2014 and led the Indians to 7 wins and 2 losses in his only season.

During Coach Black’s tenure as head football and track coach in Great Bend and Hays, he earned several prestigious honors and awards, including –

  • 6 time Western Athletic Conference Football Coach of the Year
  • 3 years as coach of the West Squad in the Kansas Shrine Football Bowl, including head coach in 2009
  • 2007 Girls 5A Track and Field Champions
  • 2 time Western Athletic Conference Trach Coach of the Year
  • Kansas Coaches Association Track Coach of the Year

Coach Black will teach Physical Education at NW and will also serve as the Cougar’s strength coordinator.

Bo is married to his very supportive wife, Stephanie.  They have two children.


Coach Jeff Adams

Jeff Adams

Jeff Adams begins his 25th season in coaching football in 2015, including coaching the Cougars for a 13th season.  This year, Jeff will have responsibility for coaching the running backs.

Jeff has coached numerous sports at the high school level in Colorado and Kansas, including head coaching positions in soccer and wrestling at SM East.   His football coaching experience extends to several positions, including offensive line, defensive line, linebackers and running backs.

Jeff has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas in Physical Education.  He currently teaches physical education at Shawanoe and Sunflower Elementary Schools.

Jeff and his wife, Stefanie, have two children, Olivia and Jase.  Stefanie is an educator at Ray Marsh Elementary School.


Coach Greg Berg

Greg Berg

Greg Berg will have responsibility for defensive backs at NW in 2015, his first season with the Cougars.

Greg brings to NW a long list of coaching experiences at numerous levels and locations.  Greg’s resume includes coaching positions at the junior high, high school (including head coach) and collegiate, both NAIA and NCAA Division II, levels.  This coaching experience occurred in 6 different states.  Greg also has head high school track and assistant collegiate track coaching experiences.

Greg earned his bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and Physical Education from Mayville State (ND) University and his master’s degree in Exercise Science and Athletic Administration from Bemidji State (MN) University.

Greg will teach US History at NW.  He has been married to his wife, Jan, for over 38 years.  Jan is also an educator at NW.  They have 2 children and 3 grandchildren.


Coach Jay Black

Jay Black

Jay Black will draw upon his vast coaching and leadership experiences over the past 22 years by serving as the freshman team head coach for the Cougars in 2015.

Jay, a native of Kansas, began his football coaching career in Protection, KS in 1993 with a 6-year run that resulted in huge program turnaround evidenced by 5 consecutive winning seasons.  During this time, Jay also served as head coach for many sports and as athletic director for two years.  Moving to Great Bend, KS in 1999, Jay was a key member of a successful coaching staff that led the Panthers to 10 conference championships, 8 state playoff appearances and a berth in the 2006 state championship game.

Jay earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Education.  He has a farm in South Central KS and enjoys golf and traveling.


Coach Dave Coopman

Dave Coopman

Dave Coopman returns for his 3rd season as a football coach for the Cougars.  In 2015, Dave will have offensive line responsibilities.

Dave has 20 years of coaching experience in the Johnson County area with stints at Blue Valley, Blue Valley West, Spring Hill and Eudora high schools.  Dave has successfully held coaching positions leading the offensive line, defensive line, quarterbacks, wide receivers in additional to serving as head coach at Spring Hill for 4 years.  Post-season successes have been abundant in Dave’s coaching career with numerous playoff appearances including 5 state championship appearances with 2 separate programs and one state championship.

Dave played football collegiately at Baker University and was a member of the Wildcat team that reached the national semi-finals in 1987.  He owns a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, graduate certification in Math Education and a master’s degree in Education.

Dave teaches Mathematics at NW.  He and his wife, Amy, live in Shawnee with their daughters, Katie and Lucy.  His free time is spent playing golf, reading and enjoying his family.


Coach Billy Dent

Billy Dent

The 2015 football season will mark Billy Dent’s 11th as a coach for NW.  This year, Coach Dent will have responsibility for the defensive line and will also serve as the head junior varsity coach.

Billy is a graduate of NW and has spent his entire coaching career with the Cougars focusing on offensive and defensive lines.  Billy has been a part of NW coaching staffs that have delivered district and Sunflower League championships.

Billy was awarded a football scholarship at The United States Air Force Academy.  He earned his bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University in Education, graduating summa cum laude and being recognized as an Elberta Harris Scholar.  He also earned a master’s degree in Education from Baker University.

Billy teaches English at NW.  He and his wife, Sarah, have two children, Luke and Lilyanne.  Sarah is also an educator at NW.


Coach Zack Epps

Zach Epps

Zach Epps will have responsibility as the freshman team offensive coordinator in his first year as a football coach at NW.

Zach is new to the world of football coaching, but not to the game of football.  After winning three varsity letters in football and track at Blue Valley West, he accepted a football scholarship to the University of Tulsa.  As a wide receiver at Tulsa, Zach was part of a Golden Hurricane program that won one conference championship and made two bowl appearances.

Zach earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Tulsa and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Church Development through Lincoln Christian University.

Zach is actively involved with youth through leadership positions in his church where he pursues his passion to help develop young people to become leaders in their communities.


Coach Brad Qualls

Brad Qualls

Brad Qualls returns to NW after two years at SM South to serve as the Special Teams Coordinator and wide receivers coach.

Coach Quall’s prior experience as NW was as the Offensive Coordination for six years beginning in 2006.  Prior coaching experiences include a head coaching position at Marceline (MO) High School.

Brad played collegiately at Baker University where he was a 4-year letterman as a defensive back.  While at Baker, he also was a member of the men’s varsity track team earning All-American honors as a long jumper.

Brad will be teaching Special Education at NW.  His wife, Britt, is also an educator at Blue Valley High School.  They have three children; Meg, Evan and Jane.


Coach Art Schoenthaler

Art Schoenthaler

Art Schoenthaler brings 17 years of coaching experience to the Cougars in 2015 where he will work with the offensive line.

Art founded and led the Ellis KS Federated Football (junior) program for 16 years.  He was on the Ellis KS high school football coaching staff for 10 years, including 9 years as head coach.  For the last 7 years, Art was an assistant football coach at Hays KS high school.

Art hails from Ellis KS and is an entrepreneur having started and owned a construction business for 40 years.

Art and his wife, Sandy, have three children and two grandchildren.


Coach Nathan Towns

Nate Towns

Nate Towns comes to NW in 2015 eager to begin his second year as a high school football coach by serving as the freshman team defensive coordinator.

Nate played his high school football in Great Bend, KS and briefly at the collegiate level at Butler County Community College in El Dorado, KS,

Having a strong passion for education, Nate has two bachelor’s degrees from Fort Hays State University, the first in Recreation and Sports Management and the second in Physical Education.  He will be student teaching at both Shawanoe Elementary School and NW this year.

Nate says his same passion for education will translate into excitement on the sidelines for every Cougar varsity game.  Look for the coach on the sidelines who is constantly jumping up and down, hollering and giving out high fives . . . that will be Nate!


Coach Brian Vesta

Brian Vesta

Brian Vesta brings 17 years of prior coaching experience to the Cougars and will serve as co-defensive coordinator with additional responsibility for the defensive ends.

Brian has focused his coaching career on the defensive side of the ball.  After coaching linebackers early in his coaching career at Emporia High School, Brian has served as defensive coordinator in four high schools, including 11 years at Great Bend High School.

Brian earned his bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University and master’s degree from Fort Hays State University.  His experience as an educator includes 2 years as an assistant principal in Great Bend, KS.  He will teach Physical Education at NW.

Brian and his wife, Amy, have two daughters, Mallory and Madeline.


Coach Chris Walters

Chris Walters

Chris Walters brings 20 years of prior coaching experience to the Cougars and will serve as co-defensive coordinator with added responsibilities for linebackers.

Chris most recently has served as the defensive coordinator for the past 5 years at Hays High School.  Prior to Hays, Chris had 10 years of coaching responsibilities in 3 other Kansas high school programs.

Chris is a native of Ness City, KS and played collegiate football at Garden City Community College.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in Physical Science Education from Fort Hays State University.

Chris is slated to teach Science at NW.