Dexter Football Without Koenig

Goal of next coach will be to make Dexter football great

By Nick LeBlanc

Since Ken Koenig had more than 15 years of coaching experience, it was a surprise to many that, as head coach, he was unable to put together a winning season. In reality, Dexter has never consistently excelled at the sport.

According to Michigan-football.com, Dexter has only had eight seasons, dating back to 1950, where they only lost two or fewer games and were truly dominant.

The last time Dexter lost only two games was in 1989.  In comparison, Dexter’s rival, Chelsea, has had 17 of these dominant seasons.

Issues like instability in coaching staffs and lack of players on the team have all played a huge role in the lack of victories for the Dreads since 1989. The losing trend in Dexter carried over to Koenig’s reign and ultimately caused his resignation.

This may have been the true cause for the resignation; however, with outside pressure from the community, many feel as though community backlash due to the lack of winning seasons may have had an influence on the decision.

Athletics Director Mike Bavineau ensured that in no way would he let the thoughts of others influence that kind of decision.

“You can be super successful and you’ll still have people who will disagree with what you’re doing,” Bavineau said. “In that sense, I can’t say outside pressure was a factor in the process.”

Looking forward, the future of the program is still unknown since no head coach has been hired yet. What is known is that the job may no longer be held by someone working for Dexter Community Schools.

“We are open to anyone who wants to apply for the job,” Bavineau said. “We have already been contacted by multiple people and will begin the interview process once enough time has passed to give people time to apply.”

One thing Bavineau made clear is the new coach will have freedom to assemble his own coaching staff.

“Moving forward, we are going to allow the new head coach to bring in their own guys if they want because we don’t want to force the new coach into a situation where they don’t agree with the old coaching staff.”

Despite the questions and unknowns surrounding Dexter football, what is know is that whoever ends up becoming the new head coach of the varsity football team will have to try and provide something for the varsity program that no other coach has been able to do since 1989: wins.

“Throughout the seasons, I, and we, have learned to trust one another,” senior Seamus McCurren said. “The bond that Koenig helped create throughout the team is one I’ll never forget.”

Coach Koenig Resigns

After four years as the varsity football coach, Ken Koenig was asked to resign due to poor on-field results.

By Nick LeBlanc

Assistant Principal Ken Koenig was forced to resign after going 1-35 in four seasons as Head Coach of the Dexter varsity football team.

Superintendent Chris Timmis, Principal Kit Moran, and Athletics Director Mike Bavineau all were involved with the decision to have Koenig resign.

“We all have jobs to do,” Bavineau said. “We have to try to do what was in the best interest of the football program to help move it forward.”

While he is often only recognized as being the head coach, Koenig has been a part of the program since 2001.  When Koenig was introduced to the Dexter community, he immediately became involved with the football program.

After six years at East Detroit High School, Koenig started his career at Dexter as an assistant coach to the varsity program.  To earn experience within the program, Koenig would tend to his duties as the defensive coordinator for the East Detroit football team and then travel west an hour to help out the Dexter football team at practices or games.  Through his travels, Koenig began to learn the new program more and noticed some dysfunction that ultimately brought him to his assistant coaching job at Dexter in 2001.

“I saw a program that looked disorganized in my eyes,” Koenig said. “I said, ‘Listen, I think I can do something to help the program.’”

That disorganized Dexter team lost all nine of its games in 2000. Once Koenig arrived as assistant, the Dreads improved to 5-13 over the next two seasons.

Leading up to 2013, when Koenig became head coach, Dexter had had five different head coaches, four of which having held the position in the same year.  That’s when Koenig stepped up to the position after 12 years in the program.

“The kids in the program, in essentially18 months, had four different head coaches. All the changes in head coaches led to there being no head coach for Dexter in March of 2013, which means the program was way behind in offseason training,” Koenig said. “I contacted Superintendent Desmarais (Desmarais was an interim between Mary Marshall and current superintendent Chris Timmis) and essentially said, ‘I’m tired of watching our kids get stuck, and I wish to be the head coach.’”

Once Koenig was given the head coaching job in 2013, he had a few goals he wished to accomplish.

“I had a plan for the next five years, and the biggest part of it was to bring stability and financial freedom to the program,” Koenig said.

Out of these two goals, Koenig feels he was successful in accomplishing at least one of them over his four years in charge.

“Through the annual gold card sale, our golf outing, and our contract with the golf course neighboring The Big House (the Dexter football team helps clean up the mess left from tailgaters after every University of Michigan home football game), we raised a lot of money for all three levels of our football program,” Koenig said. “In [the financial] aspect, I believe we were successful.”

However, despite this success, the thought of being forced to resign weighed heavy on Koenig’s mind towards the end of his 16-year career.

“I mean, going 1-35, you can kind of expect [being asked to resign],” he said. “The thought is always in the back of your mind that this could be the last bus ride or that this could be the last time on the field.”

Timmis, when asked about the resignation, didn’t mention wins and losses.

“We were fortunate to have him leading our football program for the past four years,” Timmis said. “As a direct result of Ken Koenig’s leadership, DHS football has the foundation to complete the turnaround started by Coach Koenig and his staff.”

To an outsider, the record over four years may seem to purvey that the Dreads weren’t motivated; however, players said quite the opposite is true.

“Koenig and the rest of the coaches always helped us to never give up and always play our hardest every game,” senior Travon Reid said.

Other players shared similar experiences inside Koenig’s football program.

“He always encouraged us to push the intensity in our practices,” senior Seamus McCurren said. “No matter the status of our season we always tried to push the intensity for the next game.”