Meet The Coaches
Coach Onnen has been with the Cross Country team at West since 1999, serving 7 years as the assistant coach before taking over as head coach in 2006. He teaches Chemistry at West and also works with the distance runners in track during the spring season. Under Coach Onnen, the Cross Country team has won one League title, five Regional championships and has brought back one men’s and four women’s trophies from the State meet. His runners in Track have broken the Women’s 4×800 school record multiple times as well as individual records in the women’s 800, 1500, 1600 and mile races (all State records) and the men’s 3200 (a State Meet record) and won 10 gold medals at the State Meet. He and his wife Andrea (a graduate of SMW) have two daughters, Abby, who helped her team at our sister school, SMN, win a State Championship in XC in the fall of 2017, and Aisley who is budding runner in her own right.
Coach Ryan has been involved in running his whole life, and was a proud member of the Cross Country team at SM North all four years during high school, highlighted by a trip to the State meet as a team in 2008. After graduating from North in 2010 he has remained involved in the sport by coaching the middle school team at Hocker Grove MS for a couple years before coming to SM West as an assistant XC coach in 2013. He works primarily with the Varsity and JV boys squads in XC, but has also served as the jumps coach during Track season at West and most recently as a women’s lacrosse coach at St. James HS during the spring of 2018.
Coach Schaffer has running in her blood. She competed in Cross Country and Track at Lawrence Free State HS before following in her father’s footsteps and joining the distance squad at KU. (Her father can still be spotted at KU where he often serves as a starter for Track and Cross Country meets.) Before joining the coaching staff at West in 2016, Coach Schaffer also coached Track in Tonganoxie. She currently teaches Special Ed at Westridge MS and has been instrumental in helping to pilot a spring running club there to compliment the fall Cross Country season.