On Thursday, December 20, 2012, Sen. Moran paid tribute to Coach Roger Barta on the Senate Floor. After 35 years of coaching football, the renowned coach of the Smith Center Redmen is hanging up his whistle and retiring. There are few, if any, high school football fans in Kansas who are unaware of Smith Center’s reputation; Coach Barta and his Redmen football team have won more than 320 games and eight state championships – five of them in a row.

But Coach Barta does more than just coach football – he serves as a role model and mentor for dozens of young men. As a member of the Redmen football team, the athletes are not expected to just excel on the field, but in the classroom and community as well. Coach Barta summed it up best when he said this about his coaching philosophy: “What we do real well around here is raise kids… None of this is really about football. What we’re doing is sending kids into life who know that every day means something.”