by Kylie Hanson
Jon Forney received the 45-year coaching award on July 20 at the Nebraska Coach’s Association awards banquet.
Forney has coached around 1,100 events in basketball, track, and football.
His first year was in Cedar Bluffs. Then Forney transferred over to Big Springs after one year at Cedar Bluffs. After a year at Big Springs, Forney was drafted in the Army for two years. But, that didn’t stop him from proceeding with coaching once he returned.
After returning, Forney came to Perkins County where he was the activities director. One year after that, he began to coach freshman basketball. After a while, he switched over to coaching football.
Altogether, Forney’s coaching career comes to 17 years of football and 14 years of basketball.
Not only has he been a mentor to the students of Perkins County, but he’s also been an official at two national junior high track championships and also NAIA track championships.
About his recent award, Forney said, “It’s more of a recognition of perseverance. It just means I’ve lasted longer than others.”
Many agree that coaching has changed in the last few years, but Forney has been able to experience the change in the last 40 years.
“There’s a much greater emphasis on summer activities. The parental involvement is super which helps form foundation for kids and it’s greatly appreciated by the staff. However, dedication has decreased. The ever changing population isn’t familiar with athletic activities. But, Perkins County has been a great school all around and has been well-rounded in all aspects,” said Forney.
He is grateful to his wife, Lynda, for her constant patience with his absence to games and other sporting events. They have a daughter, Karalyn, who lives in Omaha. Their son Jeff and wife live in Chicago with their children, Allison and Carson.
“I love to do anything I can do to stay around the kids and great athletes,” Forney said about retiring from sports. “It helps me stay young, but it’s time to call it a day, I guess.”