This Week in TXHSFB: Coaching vacancy interviews are in full force

Allen RB Kirby Bennett (Photo by Gary Sanderson)

Allen RB Kirby Bennett (Photo by Gary Sanderson)

With the Christmas holidays behind us, we are officially in full offseason mode at DCTF. That doesn’t mean news and notes from the TXHSFB world will stop, though!! The majority of news in the offseason months will certainly involve coaching changes, which will likely see a massive spike in the next couple of weeks as the new semester begins.

We’ll start in Pflugerville where the newest program, Weiss High, made their hire before the Christmas holidays, bringing in Hendrickson DC Thomas Aultman to be the program’s first HFC. Pflugerville ISD will also be hiring a new athletic director and the word is a current HC inside of the district is among the leading candidates.

With the departure of Shawn Bell to Baylor, Round Rock Cedar Ridge is looking for a new HFC and they will be moving fast for this gig as the job will be officially posted this week. Interviews are planned for the end of this month with a hire in early February. Round Rock ISD does not need to bring the hire to the school board.

Princeton conducted initial interviews for their vacant HFC position before the Christmas holidays. The three finalists will be coming in for second interviews starting tomorrow. A hire will be made official at the PISD school board meeting next week.  Rumored leading candidates for the job are a pair of successful coordinators in the DFW area.

Interviews for the Bryan Rudder vacant HFC position will start late next week. Former HC Will Compton resigned shortly before Christmas vacation and rejoined the staff at Conore Oak Ridge, which is where he was prior to taking the Rudder gig.  The plan is for the new hire to be announced at the Jan. 23 board meeting.

Klein Oak is moving a little more slowly in their search for a new coach after David Smith resigned in late November.  Interviews will start up for this job in late February, with the anticipated name being brought to the KISD school board at the end of February.

Shallowater also will begin interviews for their vacancy as AD/HFC, and the plan is to hire at the January board meeting.

Sealy is conducting interviews this week, as well. Keep an eye on a current head coach out in West Texas, and a guy who won a state title down the road recently to be in the mix for this job.

Bridgeland High School, which will be Cy Fair ISD’s 12th high school, is currently in the process of interviewing candidates to be the school’s first head football coach. CFISD hopes to have the hire completed by the end of January. BHS will join Cypress Park High as playing UIL football in the 2018 realignment which means the massive Cy Fair ISD district will be split into two separate districts for the upcoming realignment.

Wolfforth Frenship has narrowed the field for head coaching candidates to four finalists according to multiple sources: one internal candidate, two current head coaches (one in Central Texas and one in the San Antonio area) and a 6A coordinator in the DFW area. Expect a hire to be made next week at the FISD board meeting.

Big Spring hired Junction HC Mitch McLemore to be their next AD/HFC, McLemore had a solid two-year run in the Hill Country and now returns to West Texas where he had plenty of success as the OC at Stamford.

Three jobs did open up this week as Sabine High, a 3A Division I program, opened up with Mark Comfort departing after five years. SHS is a difficult place to consistently win at, but Comfort did help the Cardinals to the playoffs in the past three seasons.  Longtime Nederland HC Larry Neumann announced his retirement effective at the end of January. Neumann’s team failed to make the playoffs in 2016, and the team had some controversy this year as NHS was forced to forfeit a district game for playing an ineligible player. That loss proved to be key in the Bulldogs missing out on the playoffs. McCamey is back looking for a head coach after Ricky Peacock departs after two seasons.

Outside of the coaching ranks, the biggest news to hit the TXHSFB world was the transfer of Allen RB Kirby Bennett to Las Vegas Bishop Gorman. Bennett is a highly recruited back who just this week received an offer from Florida State. As a sophomore, he was the primary back for Allen, who went 14-1 and lost in the state semifinals, but this year he split time with Brock Sturges, who moved into Allen from Katy Seven Lakes. Bennett was still very productive despite splitting carries, and his loss is certainly a blow to Allen’s depth at the running back position.

The trend of hiring coaches with TXHSFB ties at the college ranks continued as new Texas HFC Tom Herman added Tim Beck to his staff to become the OC. Coach Beck has plenty of ties to the state as he was HC at Carrollton Turner and Mansfield Summit from 1999-2004. Beck most recently was co-OC at Ohio State. Major Applewhite kept the ties to powerful Spring Westfield going as (after former Westfield HC Corby Meekins left to go to Texas) Applewhite plucked DC AJ Blum to become the defensive line coach. Blum coached All-American Ed Oliver at the high school level and will continue the Cougars ties to Westfield program.

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