When Van-Far coach Blake Logan surprisingly resigned to take a major leap in his professional career with an opportunity at Jefferson City High School, the district was left with big holes to fill.
After all, Logan was the school’s athletic director, football coach, PE/Weights/Health teacher, and coached the boys track team into a Class 1 powerhouse.
Fortunately for the district, the Van-Far R-I School Board had long-time football and track coach Kevin Baldwin apply for the open position. The board hired him last week during their Special Executive Session.
“I’ve visited with Coach (Blake) Logan enough to know what he’s done,” Baldwin said. “A good thing is we have a lot of the same philosophies. There will always be some changes any time you have change, of course…”
Baldwin said he looks forward to meeting with the players and their parents in the near future.
He hopes to set camp dates and meeting times with players and parents very soon because “time is of the essence.”
Baldwin noted that he’ll be looking for skill level, who the leaders will be on the team, and hoping to get more kids out.
Baldwin brings to Van-Far a solid resume for his accomplishments coaching both on the gridiron and for track.
As a football coach for 13 years (though he has coached 19 total years), he compiled a 97-32 overall record.
His teams advanced to the state quarterfinals eight times in Class 2 during that span.
He was first at Stockton, both as an assistant football coach and head coach, and helped that program win six Mid Lakes Conference titles during eight seasons.
Baldwin then took over a Pierce City team that didn’t have a winning season since 1972.
His squad had a 7-3 record in the first year before winning two conference titles over the next two seasons. Baldwin’s squad had a 12-1 record in his third season.
When it comes to success on the track, he once had a Pierce City boys team finish second in the state and coached multiple state athletes through the years.
Baldwin’s journey back to the football field comes after spending a few years working in administration.
He previously served as a superintendent at Golden City for four years and was once a high school principal at Lamar High School, where his daughter graduated just last year.
Baldwin also spent time in the past working in Owensville.
Last year, he served as an Elementary Principal at nearby Bowling Green before that district eliminated one of the two elementary administrative positions.
Baldwin has four grown children. His two sons, ages 29 and 32, work and live in Fayetteville, Ark., his 25-year-old daughter is a teacher in Carthage, and his youngest daughter is starting college at his alma mater Pittsburg State.
He once played football and ran track for the Gorillas.
In the Van-Far community where the fight against cancer is so dear to many hearts, Baldwin’s family is unfortunately no stranger to the fight. His wife lost her battle with cancer about 19 years ago.