Cedar Rapids Jefferson will begin immediate search for new football coach

J-Hawks have to replace Brian Webb, who will take over at Sioux City East

Cedar Rapids Jefferson head coach Brian Webb leads the team in stretches during the first day of football practice at the Lower Kingston fields on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)
Cedar Rapids Jefferson head coach Brian Webb leads the team in stretches during the first day of football practice at the Lower Kingston fields on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids Jefferson will have to replace head football coach Brian Webb.

Webb has resigned as the J-Hawks skipper after five seasons, according to a news release from the school Wednesday. Webb will become the head coach at Sioux City East. Webb was 37-40 at Jefferson, reaching the postseason in 2014 and 2015.

“After much consideration and discussion with family members and close friends this offseason, I feel the timing is right for new leadership for the Jefferson High School football program,” Webb said in the release. “When I arrived Jefferson had the state’s longest losing streak and my goal was to get Jefferson High School back to being competitive statewide. We improved every year and the players continually fought game after game and that is something they should be extremely proud of.”

Jefferson Activities Director Chris Deam said the hiring process will begin as soon as possible. He said he hopes to get started in the next week or so and will have to wait until Webb’s positions are properly posted.

“In my mind, I want to start a pretty thorough search,” Deam said. “I’ve already talked to a couple people about being on a committee.”

Current Jefferson defensive coordinator Chris Buesing, a member of the Jefferson football Hall of Fame, and current offensive coordinator and former Iowa running back Jermelle Lewis might be possible candidates.

Deam said the next coach has to be a good fit for the school and students. They have to be able to build on some of what Webb has established, as well as a dynamic personality to improve participation and strengthen the lower levels.

“I’m looking for somebody who understands our kids,” Deam said. “Someone who can reach out to those students and get them involved.

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“At the same time, somebody who is going to maintain and keep moving forward with what Webb was so good at implementing when he got here, which was accountability, high expectations and high standards.”

Jefferson has reached the playoffs eight times, winning the 1972 state title under Jack Fisk, who also led the J-Hawks to playoff appearances in 1976 and 1979. Jim Dostal (1992), Dave Jacobson (2000) and Jim Womochil (2008) also guided Jefferson to the postseason.

Deam will work to find a new leader for the J-Hawks, who saw some improvement under Webb, who returns to western Iowa for the first time since leading Carroll Kuemper to the playoffs in 2010-11. East, like Jefferson, was 4-5 last season.

“It’s a lot of work, but I’m happy for Coach Webb. He has a good opportunity there,” Deam said. “It’s exciting to see what the next chapter brings and keeping things moving forward.”

l Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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