Richard L. Purdy
Four-year football letterman while playing for Baker’s former Head Coach Karl Spear. While playing quarterback as a junior was known as the “passing flash” completing 67 percent of his passing attempts. Was also known as an outstanding “Coffin-Corner Punter." Was selected all-conference honorable mention as a junior.
Participated in varsity basketball, 1953, 1954 and 1956.
Participated in varsity track, 1955-56.
Member of the Wildcat Booster Club.
Began high school teaching and coaching career at Chetopa, Kansas, in 1956.
Moved to Chanute, Kansas, as head football and track coach in 1958, remaining until 1967 when he was hired as head football coach at Shawnee Mission West High School. Coaching record at SMW was 92-44-3. Including Sunflower League Championships in 1976, ’77, ’80, ’81. Making the state quarterfinals in 1977, ’79, ’80. Being the Class 6A runner-up in 1971, ’73, ’76. And state champion in 1972. After a two-year stint as football recruiting coordinator for the University of Kansas, returned to his real love of coaching at Lee’s Summit High School where in his first year led the team to the co-championship of the Suburban Six League and a berth in the Missouri State Playoffs.
Purdy's success in the high school ranks weren't over yet, as he went on to coach at Lawrence High School for nine years. Over the course of those seasons at Lawrence, Purdy put together an 84-17 record, including 6A state titles in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1995, and a runner-up finish in 1994.
All told, Purdy finished his career with a 270-138-5 record in his 41 years as a head coach at the high school level.
Received Master of Science degree in mathematics from Kansas State College at Pittsburg.