The Kansas City Chiefs have announced that Gardner-Edgerton High School Head Coach Jesse Owen has been named the Eric Driskell High School Coach of the Year for the 2023 season. The announcement took place as part of the annual Simone Awards which were held at Blue Valley Southwest High School yesterday morning.
Owen will be recognized on gameday at the Chiefs home game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 31 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
Owen was this season's Week Four COTW honoree in Kansas after beating Mill Valley 49-10. Gardner-Edgerton continued their successful season and finished 12-1, earning the Kansas 6A title. During the five-game playoff run, the Trailblazers were dominant, outscoring their opponents 179-35. This is the first state championship in school history and came in Owen's third season at Gardner-Edgerton. He has led the Trailblazers to the back-to-back state championship appearances.
"It is humbling to receive the KC Chiefs Eric Driskell Coach of the Year Award," Owen said. "Coach Driskell was a man of great character and has left a lasting legacy that continues today. This award is a reflection of the quality people that make up our team. It would not be possible without the tremendous efforts from our players, coaches and administration. We would like to thank the Kansas City Chiefs, the Simone family, and PrepsKC."
Over the last three seasons as head coach, Owen and the Trailblazers went from a 4-6 record in the 2021 season to a 12-1 record this season. Under Owen, the team is 25-11 overall, and 14-9 in the regular season. The Trailblazers entered the championship game on a five-game win streak, and ended Derby's 11-game win streak, giving them their second loss of the season.
The announcement marks the finale of the 27th season of the High School Coach of the Week program, a joint initiative of the Kansas City Chiefs and the National Football League. This program is designed to recognize and reward Kansas City area high school coaches for superior performance on a weekly basis while honoring individuals who are shaping today's youth and tomorrow's leaders.
The Kansas City Chiefs partnered with PrepsKC to select Coaches of the Week from Missouri and Kansas each week. PrepsKC is the only complete multimedia coverage of high school football in the Kansas City Metro. For the last 14 years it has combined a dynamic web site, weekly magazine and comprehensive weekly radio show. More information about PrepsKC, including scores, schedules and coverage can be found at www.prepskc.com.