Vernon to head Salthawk football

Mike Vernon
 Mike Vernon

Former Hutchinson High School assistant football coach Mike Vernon will be the new head football coach for the Salthawks. Vernon’s hiring will be on Monday night’s USD 308 Board of Education agenda.

Vernon, who has led Nickerson to repeated football playoff berths, replaces Ryan Cornelsen, who is leaving the Salthawks to become head football coach at Gardner Edgerton.

The veteran coach is pleased to be returning to HHS.

"My family and I are excited for the opportunity,” Vernon said. “Salthawk football has always held a special place in our hearts. It's an honor and privilege to be the head football coach at Hutchinson High. I can't wait to get to work for the school and community."

District Athletic Director Kevin Armstrong is glad to have Vernon back. In addition to being head football coach, Vernon is expected to fill other coaching roles as well.

“We’re extremely excited to work with Coach Vernon,” Armstrong said. “Mike has been successful in his prior head coaching positions and will bring a tireless work ethic that will benefit our student athletes both in the classroom as well as football.”

Vernon has spent the past three season at Nickerson High School where his teams went 17-13 and qualified all three years for the Class 4A Division II playoffs. In the three seasons prior to his arrival, Nickerson teams went 7-20.

Prior to his stint at Nickerson, Vernon turned around football fortunes at Inman. From 2004 to 2011, Inman won only 15 games. During Vernon’s two seasons at Inman, the team went 12-6.

Vernon left Inman to become an assistant coach at Rose Hill.

The new head coach was an assistant under Randy Dreiling in Hutchinson. From 2008 to 2011, Vernon was on a staff that helped the Salthawks win three state championships (2008, 2009 and 2011).