Ritter hired to lead East Buch football
For close to twenty years, only two head coaches have roamed the East Buchanan sidelines every fall.
While other football programs within the KCI Conference saw a revolving door of head coaches, East Buchanan built a winning legacy under the guidance of Ron Musser and Kevin Bryan. With the retirement of Coach Bryan, who has been East Buchanan’s head coach since 2007, at the end of the school year, East Buchanan will be welcoming in their third head coach since 2000 – Daniel Ritter.
“I was looking for community,” Ritter said about the opportunity to coach at East Buchanan. “Knowing everyone’s name, and getting to know people and be part of a small-town atmosphere. St. Joseph has a lot of positives, but as far as a small-town feel, I don’t think it has that. I wanted to be part of something where it’s a close-knit community, and this fits that perfectly.”
Taking over a program with such a storied history is something Coach Ritter knows will be a challenge, but it is also something he is ready to take head-on.
“I have some big shoes to fill following the great men that have been at East Buchanan. I don’t think I look at it as pressure. I’m just trying to continue on the legacy that was already built here,” Ritter said. “It’s much harder to come into a place that doesn’t have a legacy and turn that around. I’ve got a pretty sweet gig right here – a very successful program to be able to just step in and go with it... while adding my own spin on it and adding energy to the program.”
In Coach Ritter, East Buchanan brings in a young coach making his debut at the helm of a program.
Ritter, who played football at Missouri Western State University and graduated in 2012, began his coaching career at Mid-Buchanan. Serving as an assistant to former East Buchanan head coach Ron Musser during Musser’s only year at Mid-Buchanan in 2013, Ritter had the opportunity to learn from one of the KCI Conference’s most respected head coaches.
“My very first year I was the defensive coordinator with Ron Musser at Mid-Buchanan,” Ritter said. “We had a pretty good season but ran into some really tough competition at the end. Coach Musser was a great person to get my start under.”
After working at Mid-Buchanan Ritter took a job at Central High School and worked under former Plattsburg head coach Jeff Wallace. He started as the freshman head coach before transitioning into junior varsity and then as an assistant coach for the varsity squad. “I had a lot of roles at Central,” Ritter said. “That was another great opportunity for me to continue to grow as a coach.”
Being a first-year head coach entering the KCI Conference. Ritter knows that he and his eventual coaching staff will have their hands full within the toughest small-school conference in the state of Missouri.
“I know there is a lot of history within the conference. There are good teams all around,” Ritter said. “So many of the teams are powerhouses and tons of teams have won state championships or have played for a state championship. I understand the talent level we will be going against and that’s what makes it fun. To beat people when the competition is high, that’s big time.”
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