Kris Pulford, a 2005 graduate of Richfield High School, was named the Spartans’ new head football coach Feb. 10, by athletic director David Boie.
Pulford was an assistant under former head coach Jon Wessel, who stepped down from the position in January.
“It has been my dream come true,” Pulford said. “When I moved back to Richfield coming from Oklahoma, I wanted to be an influence in the community and I wanted to be a name people trust and that they can go to for help.
“Being in the community and with being the head football coach, there are so many avenues that lend to being that person in the community that people trust.”
Richfield High School athletic director David Boie said there were 11 candidates for the position.
“He really is a part of the community,” Boie said. “He cares about Richfield, he cares about Richfield athletics as a whole, and it’s not just about the football programs and just about wins and losses.
“He wants to make Richfield a great community and he knows Richfield is a part of that. He will be working here, with the youth groups and with the middle school program.”
Boie said he expects some changes to be made, but he is confident in the staff that carried the Spartans to a 3-5 regular season record last year.
“You have a guy that has been a key cog in that program, a guy all the coaches respect,” Boie said. “Some guys were going to leave regardless when Jon left, but we have a good staff and I see those guys sticking around to build on what Jon has started.
“Kris Pulford will bring what Kris Pulford brings to the table, he will make some changes and he will look to do some things even better.”
Pulford said Wessel came to his classroom Feb. 9, to congratulate Pulford on the position, as well as to offer his support.
“He has done so much for me,” Pulford said. “He called me the day I got back from Oklahoma and he asked me if I would like to be a football coach, and from that day forward he has helped me become a better guy, a better man, a better coach and he has been a man that changes lives.
“To follow in his footsteps will be difficult because he casts a big shadow and has left some big shoes to fill.”
With Boie having served as Richfield’s head baseball coach while Pulford was a student, he said learning of his promotion from his former coach made the moment even more memorable.
“This is what I have worked for, this is what I have been excited about and this is what I have wanted to do,” Pulford said. “[Boie] was my baseball coach in high school and he came into my classroom with a little smile, closed the door and then congratulated me.
“It was a great moment for both him and me. Some of the things I have done are because of him, so it is fun to be in the same program that raised me up.”
Pulford, in addition to his duties as an assistant to Wessel last season, has also been an assistant coach with the Richfield boys basketball and baseball teams. Pulford plans on continuing to serve as an assistant on those squads.
“I’m not going to stop. I love baseball,” Pulford said. “We’re going to see what that looks like this year, I probably won’t coach baseball this summer, but we want our kids to be multi-sport athletes and I want to be a multi-sport coach.
“That’s a recruiting time for me, so we get kids on my freshman basketball team that I want to get playing football.”
Pulford will look to build his staff and keep an eye over the youth programs while he waits for the varsity season to begin in the summer.
Contact Chris Chesky at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @MNSunSports or @SunSportsChris.