KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Former Olathe East track and field coach Mike Wallace died Wednesday, according to school officials.
Principal Kerry Lane posted the news on social media, referring to Wallace as a “legendary, beloved Olathe East family member” who “will be deeply missed by all who knew him.”
Our hearts are heavy with the passing of legendary, beloved Olathe East family member, Mike Wallace. Mike opened the building in 1993 and coached track until 2019. Many lives are better because of Coach Wallace’s impact. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. pic.twitter.com/LaVGfFeEeB— Kerry Lane (@Kerry282542) August 12, 2020
Wallace retired from teaching three years ago, according to former Olathe East football coach Jeff Meyers, but he remained an assistant with the track and field team through last spring, when he also retired from coaching.
Wallace served as Meyers’ defensive coordinator for more than two decades with the Hawks football team, while Meyers served as a throwing coach for Wallace’s track and field teams for more than two decades as well.
During more than a quarter-century head coaching career, Wallace led the Hawks track and field teams to 11 Kansas Class 6A state championships — six girls’ titles and five boys’ crowns.
Olathe East’s girls won state five consecutive years from 2008 to 2012 and won again in 2016.
The Hawks boys’ won state in 1998, 2007, 2010, 2014 and 2015.
Wallace had been battling cancer.