Kokomo High School hired its third coach in 13 years and its 10th in the football program’s 97-year history.
Last night at the Kokomo School Corporation Board of Trustees meeting, 2011 KHS graduate Austin Colby was approved as a teacher at KHS and as the school’s varsity head football coach.
Colby said he’s looking forward to leading the team.
“I consider Kokomo to be one of the premier football coaching jobs in the state of Indiana. Kokomo is among the top 20 Indiana football programs in number of wins,” said Colby. “Kokomo is where I grew up. My wife (Hannah) and I are both from Kokomo, and our families live in Kokomo. This is a dream job for me, as well as a great opportunity.”
After earning All-State honors as a defensive back in 2010 and 2011 for KHS, Colby played in the Indiana North-South All-Star Football Game as a senior. He graduated from Ball State University in 2015 and then served as the Twilight School Coordinator from 2015-2017 for Kokomo Schools. He taught physical education at KHS during the 2017-2018 school year.
As well as returning home, Austin also is returning to the sidelines at Walter Cross Field where he served as an assistant coach and co-defensive coordinator from 2013-2017 when he helped his father, Brett Colby, coach the Wildkats.
“I learned so much working with my dad as I helped coach the secondary on the defensive side of the ball and the running backs and quarterbacks on the offensive side,” Colby said. “My dad was instrumental in my preparation to become a head football coach.”
For the past two football seasons, Colby has served as a teacher and the varsity head football coach at Maconaquah High School.
“Maconaquah was a good fit for me,” he said. “I learned so much while the community was so supportive. I wish to thank the school, the players, and the community for allowing me to grow as a coach and as a person.”
The biggest difference between being an assistant coach and being the head coach, according to Colby was “making those on-the-spot game decisions for each and every down.”
“Creating daily practice plans while making sure our student-athletes were successful both in the classroom and on the football field were the other major differences in being the head varsity coach,” Colby said.
While at Maconaquah, Colby was selected in 2018 as the Three Rivers (“Three Rivers” refers to the Wabash, Tippecanoe, and Eel rivers, and is the athletic conference many schools in that area belong to) Conference Coach of the Year and the Miami County (Maconaquah is in Miami County) Coach of the Year, while serving as an assistant coach in the 2018 East-West Hall of Fame Game.
KHS Athletic Director Nick Sale was excited to welcome Colby back to the Wildkat family.
“Austin is a proven winner, both as an athlete here at Kokomo High School and as a coach,” Sale said. “When searching for a new head football coach, we wanted someone who brought a culture of success both on the field and in the classroom. Austin has proven that he is that type of leader.”
Creating a competitive culture was first and foremost among Colby’s goals.
“I hope to establish those core values that have made Kokomo football successful in the past, and I want to build on that legacy,” he said. “Accountability is critical … I want our players to be disciplined on and off the field because I believe that translates into always being competitive.”
KHS Principal Angela Blessing was happy Colby chose to return to KHS.
“Austin Colby will be a great addition to our teaching faculty, as well as our coaching staff,” Blessing said. “I always have appreciated Austin’s work ethic, and we know he is an outstanding classroom teacher. Being a Kokomo High School graduate will make it even easier for Austin to build on our Kokomo legacy.”