Eno joins the full-time men’s football coaching staff

Greg Eno knew all about Kansas Wesleyan men’s soccer coach Baron Hollimon long before Hollimon knew who Eno was.

“I grew up watching him play for the Wichita Wings from a young age,” Eno said. “My parents were season ticket holders and they used to take me and my brother and sister to games. I mean from the age of two we would go to games and put on our pajamas at halftime and we slept at the end of the game.

“Looking at LeBaron, he was a legend back then.”

Eno continued to follow Hollimon as he got older.

“He has a son (DeBray) who is a year younger than me,” he said. “We played against each other at clubs and then (LeBaron) went to California to coach.”

Eno played football at Maize High School and then signed with Tabor, but his college career never really took off after suffering an injury. A comeback attempt was also short-circuited by injury.

Eno, however, had no intention of leaving the game.

“I knew I wasn’t done with football, I’m just passionate about it,” he said. “I was taken away from the game, I couldn’t play the way I wanted to. I think playing football in college is a great opportunity for guys to be part of something a little bigger .

Eno began coaching club teams in Wichita and later spent two years coaching at Buhler High School. Then came an opportunity he knew he had to take – an opening at KWU under the new head coach Baron Hollimon.

“Once LeBaron became the head coach here, I knew he would be a great coach to learn from, so I reached out to him,” he said. “I was like ‘I’m interested in coming over and being your grad assistant’ and it happened.”

Given the possibility of hiring a full-time assistant in the offseason, Hollimon didn’t look far. Eno enters 2022 as Hollimon’s full-time assistant.

“He applied for the job and when I interviewed him, you could tell he was young and eager to be in a position where he could learn to coach at the college level,” Hollimon said.

Eno has learned a lot in his first year and plans to do the same this fall.

“I think what strikes me the most is how detail-oriented he is,” Eno said of his boss. “He has it all planned out and how he wants it to be. If the guys don’t follow through and do what they’re supposed to do, then he’s going to hold it to that standard.

“When I got there, I said to LeBaron ‘I’m going to treat this like I’m a full-time assistant.’ I helped them recruit last year and he involved me in most of the decisions that were made.

Eno said his job won’t change much except for some additional responsibilities within the athletic department and the university. One of his main responsibilities will continue to be an advocate for the players, but always mindful of the bigger picture.

“It can be a bit tricky,” he said. “In some cases, I’m only a few years older than some guys, so I can talk to them like they’re someone who’s a friend of mine. But at the same time there always has to be that level of respect there, that I’m one of their coaches and when I tell them something needs to be done, they do it.

“He has the ability to communicate but be professional,” Hollimon said of Eno. “Communicating in a way that aligns with what I think and how I think things should be done and how I articulate things.”

Hollimon appreciates the message that Eno conveys based on his gaming experiences.

“It tells them to be grateful for what you have and the opportunity you have in front of you,” he said. “Be grateful for what you have.”

Wesleyan was picked 11th in the Kansas Conference coaches’ preseason poll, but Eno disagreed.

“Being picked 11th, we’ve already had guys reach out and say it was disrespectful,” he said. “They feel disrespected because there are several teams that were chosen before us and that we beat last year.

“We saw towards the end when we started winning and everyone was available on the field, exactly what we were capable of. A lot of that was freshmen coming into bigger roles. They come back and you add that we’ve been able to go out and recruit guys who we think are going to fit well into the program and want to come in and work hard.

In Eno’s mind, the pieces are in place for an improved season in 2022.

“I think it’s just about getting the guys on the same page and being willing to be disciplined enough to play the style of football we’re coaching,” he said. “I think the rest will take care of itself.”