Side by side: Bond between WU alums Wilhoite, Hastings continues with NFL coaching jumps

Rick Peterson


When Highland Park graduate Michael Wilhoite and Wichita native Joe Hastings arrived on Washburn University's campus in 2005 they became fast friends.

That bond has continued ever since, from standout careers for Craig Schurig's Ichabods to playing together for the San Francisco 49ers to becoming coaches in the NFL -- Wilhoite with the Los Angeles Chargers after a two-year stint with the New Orleans Saints and Hastings a recent addition to the Indianapolis Colts' staff.

"Those two really have a neat story together,'' Schurig said. "Their careers are almost mirror images with all the ups and downs they've had and even their playing career here was so similar. Their work ethic, their drive, their communication, just about everything you could imagine they've done it almost side by side and not on purpose, it just happened that way. It's just really cool.''

MichaelWilhoiteFormer Washburn standout Michael Wilhoite went to play six seasons in the NFL and was recently named linebackers coach for the Los Angeles Chargers. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

Wilhoite, who played linebacker and special teams for six years in the NFL for the 49ers and Seahawks before launching his coaching career, said he's extremely thankful for his friendship with Hastings.

"I thnk that's obviously God and that's just us loving each other,'' said Wilhoite, who was recently named linebackers coach for the Chargers. "One thing about us both is we always do things with the right intentions, I think, and we always try to be the best that we can be individually and I think we always want the people around us to be the best they can be. So we'll always travel in similar circles with similar people and accomplish similar things because we both have the same mindset.''

JoeHastingsactionJoe Hastings, former star receiver at Washburn, was recently named to the Indianapolis Colts' coaching staff as special teams assistant. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

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Topeka High set to face perennial state power Bishop Miege in heavyweight girls basketball matchup

Rick Peterson



Obviously, Topeka HIgh's 41-game winning streak is important to Trojans girls basketball coach Hannah Alexander and her top-ranked team.

But Alexander is more concerned about getting the Trojans ready for a shot at the Class 6A state title, which is why she jumped at the chance to accept a marquee matchup with perfennial state champion Bishop Miege, No. 1 in 4A, Tuesday night at Miege (7 p.m.).

Topeka HIgh, which has not lost since the 2019 6A state championship game to city rival Washburn Rural, will take an 18-0 record into Tuesday's game while 20-time state champ Bishop Miege is 16-1 after a 39-37 win over 5A power St. Thomas Aquinas on Friday.

Hannah AlexanderTopeka High girls basketball coach Hannah Alexander and her Trojans are scheduled to face perennial state champion Bishop Miege on the road Tuesday night. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

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