Coach Watchous’ career in football started in DeSoto, Kansas where he played from sixth grade through high school, earning All-Conference honors at offensive guard and linebacker his junior and senior years and All-State honors at linebacker his senior year; a season highlighted by no scores on the Wildcat defense through the first six games, a 12-1 record and a state championship appearance versus Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel. Coach Watchous’ determination to punish any ball carrier or receiver who tried to advance the ball on the Wildcat defense earned him the reputation of “Dr. Death”.
After high school, Coach Watchous played linebacker at Ft. Scott Community College and Baker University. At Baker, Coach Watchous played for College Football Hall of Fame Coach Charlie Richard in his first two seasons (1980-81) as Baker’s head coach. The 1980 season was highlighted by a 10-1-1 record and a national play-off appearance versus William Jewell College.
Following graduation from Baker, Coach Watchous served as an assistant coach and as head coach at Nike Jr. High and Wheatridge Middle School in Gardner for a combined 16 years. Coach Watchous has served as an assistant and as head coach at GEHS for a combined 17 years, highlighted by a 1986 District Championship and the 2009 State Championship appearance versus Hutchinson.
Coach Watchous also coached outside linebackers and defensive ends at Baker University during Coach Charlie Richard’s last two seasons as Baker University’s head coach (1993-94). The 1993 season was highlighted by a 10-3 record and a national semi-final play-off appearance vs. Pacific Lutheran College. The 1994 season was highlighted by a national top-ten ranking for the Baker Wildcat defense and All-American honors for the two defensive ends.
Coach Watchous currently teaches Social Studies and serves as Athletic Director at Pioneer Ridge Middle School. His wife, Carol, teaches third grade at Madison Elementary in Gardner. His daughter, Amy, is a Physical Therapist at Meadowbrook Hospital in Gardner. His son, Zach, is a marketing and sales account manager for Pepsico Corporation in Olathe.