First-year Coffeyville Community College football coach Aaron Flores sat down for a Q&A with us Tuesday morning – Flores is a familiar name in the Jayhawk Conference after spending 10 years at Butler Community College, where he was part of teams that won three national championships, played in six national title games and won nine Jayhawk titles. Flores took over after Darian Dulin, another former Butler assistant, was fired in November.
Flores, American Football Monthly Magazine’s offensive coordinator of the year in 2003, spent last season as the OC and QBs coach at Itawamba (Miss.) Community College:
Sunflower Slate: How have workouts been going this spring?
Aaron Flores: Well we get 20 spring practices where we can be on the field where we can focus on the football stuff, but we’ve been really focused on lifting, conditioning … doing a lot of change of directions tuff.
SS: How does it feel to be back in Kansas? To be back in the Jayhawk Conference?
AF: I really enjoy being back here. I’m from Olathe, my wife is from Olathe so it’s good to come back to that familiarity … this is a conference I spent a long time in.
SS: Can you talk about how you got your start in coaching and a little bit about your background?
AF: I played quarterback at Butler in 1990 and 1991, and (current Coffeyville CC athletic director) Jeff Leiker was my quarterback coach there and that’s where we first met. Coach Leiker was at Missouri Western in 1997 and wanted me to be the running backs coach there, so I came in and interviewed, got the job, and the next year (Leiker) left to be the coach at Fort Hays State. And we both came back to the Jayhawk Conference in the same year, 2000, when he took over as the coach at Coffeyville.
SS: So there’s a long relationship there, obviously. How did that play into getting the Coffeyville job?
AF: Well, over the years he’s been familiar with what I’ve done, so when the job came open (Leiker) gave me a call and I flew out and interviewed.
SS: In a social media age, there was a lot of talk about you getting the job in blogs and on Facebook, especially with some people thinking that (former Coffeyville coach) Skip Foster should get another shot at it. What’s the reception been like for you in the community?
AF: The reception has been very good … to me and my staff and all of our families. It’s been a very smooth transition where we feel like we’ve been welcomed with open arms. I’ve talked to Skip and I’ve talked to his dad (former Coffeyville coach Dick Foster) and told them I wanted them to be a part of the tradition we’re trying to build … they’re both very special to this program. It’s a unique situation, but it’s all been very positive.
SS: Do you feel the pressure to win there? I know not having beat Butler since 1997 is a big sticking point with a big part of the fanbase.
AF: There’s pressure to win. That’s a good thing. You want to be in a position where people don’t just settle for making the (Region VI) playoffs … where the community wants a program that wins championships. The expectations are here, certainly, and that’s okay.
The big thing for us right now is focusing on Coffeyville Community College … we don’t even mention the “B” word around here. We open with Hutch, Trinity Valley and then head out to Colorado … we’ve got plenty to focus on right now.