Hagebusch, Nowata seek to prove winless season was just a blip
BY MARK COOPER World Sports Writer
Thursday, May 31, 2012
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Matt Hagebusch was not on Nowata's sideline during the Ironmen's winless season in 2011. Turning around the program after early-season coach issues and the dreadful season is now his job.
"Nowata's a football town," said the first-year head coach. "So last year was just kind of an anomaly. I don't expect anything that happened last year to affect what goes on this year."
Randy Zabel, hired before last season, was fired before coaching a game when an August scrimmage was canceled because players refused to play for him. An assistant at the time, Cory James took over, but Nowata suffered through a 0-10 season one year after making the playoffs. Nowata is moving from 3A to 2A this season.
Many sophomores gained varsity experience as freshmen last season. Their varsity experience has Hagebusch believing Nowata could place itself back in the playoff hunt in his first season.
"They've been in the state championship game every decade since 1970," Hagebusch said of the program. "They're used to being in the playoffs, and not just being in it, but making deep runs in the playoffs."