Free State 2019 Football Staff

Head Coach: Kevin Stewart will be in his first season at Lawrence Free State. Coach Stewart was the Defensive Coordinator and assistant coach for Blue Valley North from 2015-2018. Prior to his time at BVN, Coach Stewart coached at Wichita Northwest High School, McLouth High School, and Lyndon High School. Coach Stewart played college football at Ottawa University before graduating from Kansas University with a degree in Secondary Education.

Defensive Coordinator: Mike Gillman returns as the Defensive Coordinator for the Firebirds. The 2018 defense allowed just 14.1 points per game under Coach Gillman. The Firebird defense has a reputation as an aggressive swarming defense. Gillman has received past coaching honors including selection as a Shrine Bowl Coach and Kansas Missouri All-Star Game Coach. Coach Gillman works in the school district as a social studies / history teacher.

Offensive Coordinator, Wide Receivers: Taylor Stuart has earned the nickname “Mr. Firebird” and will be responsible for coaching wide receivers and coordinating the passing game this season. Taylor played wide receiver on the Firebird’s State Runner-Up team and continued to play in college at Coffeyville and Baker University. Taylor teaches in the PE department.

Assistant Varsity, Offensive Line: Nolan Henderson returns to staff and his being promoted to the varsity offensive line coach. Coach Henderson works closely with the offensive staff to develop and coordinate the run game.

Assistant Varsity, Defensive Backs: Spencer Bonner returns to coach the defensive secondary for the Firebirds. Coach Bonner played collegiality at the University of Kansas and has been involved with coaching ever since.

Assistant Varsity, Defensive Line: Tedarian Johnson joins the Firebird coaching staff from the University of Kansas. Coach Johnson played high school football and junior college in Mississippi before earning a scholarship as a defensive tackle and starter for the Jayhawks.

Junior Varsity Offensive Coordinator, Running Backs: Devin McAnderson returns to staff and will be responsible for the varsity running backs. Coach McAnderson and his family have served in a number of football roles throughout the community of Lawrence.

Junior Varsity Defensive Coordinator, Outside Linebackers: Chad Aberle joins the Firebird staff and will work on the defensive side of the ball. Coach Aberle played linebacker at Highland Community College and graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Education. Coach Aberle currently serves as a science teacher at West Middle School.

Freshman Head Coach: Dan Hissong will be taking over as the Head Freshman Coach for the Firebirds. Coach Hissong was a standout at Shawnee Mission North High School and began his coaching career in the Shawnee Mission School District. Coach Hissong currently works as a Science Teacher at Free State High school and has most recently completed his masters degree in Biology.

Freshman Defensive Coordinator, Defensive Back’s: Tyler Wendland joins the Firebirds after working as an assistant at Wamego High School. Coach Wendland was a high school standout at Riley County High School and worked hard to earn a roster spot as a defensive back at Kansas State University. Tyler  manages training facilities within the next level organization.