Two local high school coaches were asked to speak Aug. 3-5 at the 88th annual Coaching School in the Maner Conference Center at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka.

The clinic is conducted by the Kansas State High School Activities Association.

“Our staff has worked very hard to develop a conference agenda which provides significant and diverse learning opportunities as you engage with our outstanding speakers and clinicians,” KSHSAA Executive Director Bill Faflick said in a statement. 

“The breadth and depth of offerings in this professional development opportunity will provide technical, theoretical and motivational growth opportunities for each of you. You have the opportunity to enjoy a wide array of sports specific sessions, as well as general sessions designed to help you lead your teams and school programs.”

The keynote speaker is Joe Coles, a speaker, consultant and teacher.

“In addition to learning from the presenters, we hope you will take time to develop as part of the fraternity of coaches,” Faflick said. “By sharing your stories and learning from your peers, you will grow your craft and develop a support system that is healthy and ever present.”

Arkansas City High School and Middle School tennis head coach Aaron O’Donnell is slated to speak from 2 to 2:50 p.m. Aug. 4 in Session 13.

Winfield High School wrestling head coach Nick McGrew is set to speak from 9 to 9:50 a.m. Aug. 5 during Session 16.

Former Ark City High and Cowley College tennis standout Boomer Saia is scheduled to speak at two sessions. He is slated for Session 11, from noon to 12:50 p.m. Aug. 4, amd Session 12, from 1 to 1:50 p.m. the same day. Saia is the head coach at Iowa State University.

Another former Cowley College tennis standout, Buhler High School tennis coach Matt Babcock is set to speak during Session 8, from 9 to 9:50 a.m. Aug. 4.

O’Donnell teaches eighth-grade Social Studies at ACMS. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Kansas State University.

The Chapman High School grad, who also attended Manhattan High, earned top-six State medals in all four years of tennis.

O’Donnell was named the overall Kansas High School Tennis Coach of the Year in 2014 and KCA Girls Tennis Coach of the Year for the 2014-15 season. He led the Lady Bulldogs to the KSHSAA Class 5A State title in 2016.

McGrew is an Arkansas City High School grad who went on to graduate from Pratt Community College and York (Neb.) College.

McGrew began coaching the WHS wrestling team in 2013, and led the Vikings to a runner-up finish in 2018 at the KSHSAA Class 4A State Championships. McGrew is a three-time AV-CTL Division III Coach of the Year.

Saia is a two-time KSHSAA Class 5A State doubles champion as a member of the Bulldogs, and advanced to the semifinals of the NJCAA National Championships as a member of the Tigers.

Babcock, a Spanish teacher at Buhler High, is a Winfield High graduate. After his stint at Cowley, he earned two bachelor’s and one master’s degrees from Wichita State University.

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