116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids Jefferson is seeking a new head varsity football coach.
Activities Director Chris Deam confirmed Wednesday that Chris Buesing is no longer in charge of the program. Deam declined to clarify if this is a resignation solely of Buesing’s volition or if he was told to step down by the school’s administration.
Buesing was asked that question.
“It’s not by my choosing that I’m leaving,” he said. “I would coach at Jefferson High School if I could, and I wanted to continue. This year was tough, the last two seasons were tough. But I think because of what we had in place, I saw a bright future for Jefferson, and I felt like we were making progress. Because we were making progress, I would have liked to be a part of seeing that progress through. Seeing the better days ahead for Jefferson football. The potential is still there for them, I know it is.”
Jefferson is coming off a very difficult 0-9 season in which its closest loss was by 42 points. It had to forfeit a game against Cedar Rapids Kennedy because injuries and COVID-19 left an already depleted roster too thin to play.
Jefferson dressed just 21 players for its opener against Cedar Rapids Washington. Multiple players transferred to other schools last summer, while others decided simply not to go out.
A tried-and-true westsider, Buesing is a Jefferson grad who was an assistant coach at the school before being named to the head position in 2018. The J-Hawks went 1-8 that season, 4-5 in 2019 and 0-8 in 2020 and are on a 17-game losing streak, their last win coming against Dubuque Senior, 24-10, in the 2019 finale.
Yet Buesing was encouraged by a freshman class that was very competitive and numbered in the 40s, and by work being done at the youth levels to eventually integrate those kids into the high school program. For instance, he mentioned how he took over 50 kids from Roosevelt, Wilson and Taft Middle Schools (Jefferson’s feeders) to the state high school championships this past fall.
“There are easier places to go coach, but part of why I was at Jefferson is because it is a challenge,” he said. “If I just wanted to have an impressive resume and win a lot of games, that would have been easier at other places to start off. But I guess I believed it was a worthwhile challenge, and one I believed could get done. I still believe it’s one that can get done, and I hope they do.”
Deam said he had planned to meet with all football players to tell them of the coach’s departure and to answer their questions Wednesday afternoon, but cold weather canceled classes, so that meeting has been pushed to Thursday afternoon instead.
He said Jefferson has begun the process of finding a new head coach.
“We’ll start a search immediately,” Deam said. “We have nobody in mind, there is nobody earmarked or anything like that. I know there are rumors out there, but nobody is a frontrunner and nobody has the job.”