Van Vanatta instructs his players during practice (copy) (copy)

Rock Bridge head coach Van Vanatta instructs his players during a practice July 20, 2020, at Rock Bridge in Columbia. Vanatta is out as the head coach, AD Michael McGinty confirmed.

Van Vanatta is no longer head coach of the Rock Bridge football team, Rock Bridge AD Michael McGinty confirmed Tuesday. KMIZ reporter Andrew Kauffman first reported the news.

A job posting for the Rock Bridge head coach position was put up on the Columbia Public School website Monday.

Vanatta was hired prior to the 2017 season and was previously the head coach at Hazelwood Central. During his five-year tenure as head coach, Vanatta went 31-22 with the Bruins. Their best finish came in 2018 with a second-place finish in the Class 6 District 2 tournament.

In his final season, the Bruins finished 4-6 and ended with the team going on a nine-quarter scoreless streak. It was the second season in which the Bruins finished with a losing record under Vanatta, with the team going 3-7 in 2019.

McGinty confirmed that Rock Bridge has not been in contact with anyone directly in regards to the head coaching position.

“We are in the process of collecting applications,” McGinty said in an email.

  • Rock Bridge Football and Missouri Cross Country beat writer for Fall 2021. Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5700

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