Alice ISD on Monday night is expected to name Taft head coach Joe Richard Castellano as the next athletic director/head football coach at Alice High School, replacing Kyle Atwood who resigned in February to take the same position at Holliday.
Castellano, a Refugio native began his coaching career as an assistant at his alma mater from 1999-2007 before heading to the Houston area for one season as an assistant coach at LaMarque. He returned to the Coastal Bend in 2010 when he joined Phil Danaher’s staff at Corpus Christi Calallen as an assistant coach.
In 2011, Coach Castellano got his first coordinator gig under Tom Allen at Sinton where he served for six seasons from 2011-2016 as the Pirates defensive coordinator. Coach Castellano then moved to Beeville Jones where he spent three seasons as the Trojans defensive coordinator under Jerry Bomar before getting his first shot to be a head coach at Taft in the spring of 2019.
In the three seasons prior to his arrival at Taft, the Greyhounds were a combined 7-23 and in four years, the program has completely turned around. In his first year at the helm, Taft he posted a 4-7 record but got the Greyhounds into the playoffs. In 2020, despite numerous challenges in South Texas in getting the season off the ground due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Castellano’s squad posted an 8-4 mark and Taft earned their first playoff victory since 2015.
After an 8-3 mark and another playoff appearance in 2021, Taft broke through in 2022 with one of their best seasons in school history posting a 10-3 record and advancing to the 3A-Division II regional semifinals, the first time the Greyhounds played in a third round playoff game since 1982.
Castellano had twice been a finalist for the Alice job previously and as soon as the job opened his name was at the top of the rumor mill in the Corpus Christi area as a leading contender to take over the Coyotes who were 8-3 in 2022. Castellano’s hiring should be made official tonight at the Alice ISD school board meeting and the Taft job should be posted later this week.
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