New Kelly Walsh football coach Aaron Makelky spent last week focused on being the South’s head coach for the Shrine Bowl. Once that was over, however, he got on the phone Saturday night and called four assistant coaches who needed to be told their applications for assistant coaching positions were accepted.
Ken Swieter got his phone call at 10 p.m. He was in bed so he didn’t really believe it. He needed confirmation the next morning, which included a message that he needed to be in Casper to meet the new Kelly Walsh coaching staff later that night. So it was true — he’s joined his alma mater.
Swieter accepted the job as outside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator on Makeleky’s staff, which also means he’s resigned as head coach at Midwest.
“I couldn’t pass up the opportunity,” Swieter said. “I called (Makelky) a few months ago and we talked for an hour-and-a-half. I can’t remember talking to anyone on the phone for that long.”
Swieter said he enjoyed the energy and optimism from the Trojans’ new head coach. He was also encouraged by the other assistant coaches he met in that first coach’s clinic on Sunday. The former Oilers head coach looks forward to getting to know the coaches and kids more.
Monday night was the first night of summer camp for the Trojans, which brought a promising turnout. It also momentarily took Swieter aback.
“I’m used to having 16 kids at the max and now I’ve got to learn 60 or 70 kids,” he said. “They seemed excited, though.”
Swieter served as head coach at Midwest for 12 seasons. The Oilers went 58-51 during that time with four semifinal berths and a Class 1A/6-man runner-up finish in 2013.
As of Tuesday morning the school district had not yet posted the Midwest football coaching job on its website. Swieter said he’ll be on the committee that oversees hiring the new coach. He hopes to hand over the school’s quarterback club and fund raising strategies, as well as offensive and defensive schemes, to the new head coach.
Swieter also said he’s hoping the school finds a long-term choice. Since 1962 the Oilers have had five different head coaches, two of whom coached for a combined three seasons.
“Hope we hire someone invested in it to be there for a long time,” Swieter said. “In the last 50 years Midwest has only really had three coaches. It says a lot about a program and I want to hire someone who will be there awhile and implement their style of six-man football at Midwest.”