BELTON — A man who sowed his coaching seeds as an assistant at Temple has returned to the area to take the reins at another local high school across the Leon River.
Bob Shipley will be the new athletic director and head football coach at Belton, pending only the school board’s rubber stamp approval at a special meeting set for 5 p.m. Monday.
Thursday’s announcement by the Belton Independent School District brought quick closure to a coaching search that began when Rodney Southern resigned Jan. 31 to take the head job at Huntsville.
“Bob Shipley knows what it takes to build a winning program,” Superintendent Susan Kincannon said in a statement. “The depth of his experience and his record of successfully developing players make Bob the right person to lead our football team — and all of our athletic programs — forward. I’m excited to recommend him to the board.”
Shipley, a football analyst in the player personnel department at the University of Texas, won’t be available for comment until a media session following Monday’s meeting. He has a record of 126-46 in 14 seasons as a high school head coach.
“There are so many great things going on in Belton right now,” he said in the release. “I can’t wait to meet the kids and hit the ground running.”
Before joining the Longhorns, Shipley had head coaching stints at Brownwood, Coppell, Burnet — where he led the Bulldogs to the Class 3A Division I state title game in 2002 and 2003 — and Rotan. He spent a portion of his early coaching career as an assistant under legendary Temple coach Bob McQueen in the late 1980s.
“Bob Shipley is absolutely one of the finest high school coaches in the state of Texas,” McQueen said Thursday. “He has great technical knowledge of the game and was one of the pioneer guys when it comes to throwing the football. He and his family are great people. The kids in Belton are the winners in this deal.”
Mary Hardin-Baylor athletic director Randy Mann shared an office with Shipley as a Temple assistant and can attest to his knowledge of the game.
“Even when he was working with the sophomore team, he always liked to throw the football and he knew a little more than the rest of us,” Mann said. “He could really relate to kids and communicate well with all athletes. This is a good thing for Belton, and he’ll do a wonderful job.”
Shipley, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees while playing fullback and competing in the shot put at Abilene Christian, led Brownwood to a 39-14 record and playoff appearances in all four of his seasons there.
He was 15-7 in two seasons at Coppell after going 54-19 with two state runner-up finishes in six years at Burnet. He was 18-6 in two seasons at his first head coaching stop in Rotan.
Shipley inherits a Belton football program that was 37-37 with three playoff appearances in seven years under Southern.