Ellison Football Buddy McBryde

Ellison Football coach Buddy McBride coaches from the sidelines during a football game against Midway High School Sept. 27 at Leo Buckley Stadium. McBryde resigned Thursday, announcing his decision to players Friday after back-to-back winless seasons.

In the midst of an 0-20 slide, embattled Ellison athletic coordinator and head football coach Buddy McBryde announced his resignation Friday, effective at the end of his current contract.

McBryde met with Killeen Independent School District athletic director Tom Rogers Thursday after attending the all-District 8-5A meeting and submitted his formal resignation.

“He told me he’d decided it was time for him to resign and move on. He just felt like that was in the best interest of him and his family,” Rogers said. “I know in Buddy’s eyes, he felt like that was the right thing to do.”

McBryde, 51, formally announced his decision during his football athletic period Friday morning, breaking the news to his players before Killeen ISD released an official statement.

“I have enjoyed my over seven years teaching and coaching at Ellison, though I have decided to make a change in my career. I am resigning as of the end of the current 2012-2013 contract year,” McBryde, who declined further comment, said in a news release.

Killeen ISD is expected to begin the search for a new campus athletic coordinator and football coach immediately, with a meeting to discuss parameters and qualifications for the new hire likely to take place early next week.

“There’s a lot of things we need to work out,” said Rogers, adding the district will look at in-house candidates before opening it up to outside possibilities. “(We will) explore all our (options) as they come (together).”

After being promoted following three years as defensive coordinator under former coach Bret Boyd in 2008, McBryde compiled a 13-37 record in five years as head coach, including losing every game in the past two seasons.

McBryde’s last game with the Eagles was a 27-14 loss to Shoemaker Nov. 9.

Shoemaker was the last Killeen ISD football program to go through a coaching change. Longtime coach Ken Gray resigned in June 2011 following the second of two 0-10 seasons amid a 31-game skid, which ended with a 31-24 victory over Ellison in 2011 under current coach Channon Hall.

Given the Eagles’ on-field struggles, McBryde has come under heavy criticism from fans and alumni alike. Rogers confirmed it may have played a factor in McBryde’s decision to step down.

“You don’t want people to be upset with you, so we apply more pressure on (ourselves),” Rogers said. “I look at a coach and his team when they are struggling in the win-loss column, I looked at those kids after the game, and if they’re still looking at that (coach) and listening to what he’s saying, I know that they’re still on board. And I never saw anything different (from the players).”

Rogers said McBryde’s decision to resign a week after the season ended should help the transition, allowing the district to take its time and find the right candidate to hire.

“It gives us quite a bit of time, ample time to go out and fully research what’s out there,” Rogers said. “I think Coach McBryde knew that, and that’s the reason he did it at the time that he did.”

Contact Alex Byington at alexb@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7566

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