Like many of the athletes who have graced the sidelines at Ellison, Trent Gregory is eager to hit the ground running once he steps on campus.
Gregory was hired Thursday to become the head football coach and athletic coordinator at Ellison High School. He was selected by a Killeen Independent School District hiring committee from three finalists after three days of interviews this week.
“There’s so much tradition at Ellison High School, and I want to be a part of that Ellison family,” Gregory said. “I want to come in and continue to work and grow with what’s going on there. (I’m) real excited to work with the kids and get this football program rolling.”
Gregory spent the last three years as the offensive line coach at Leander Vandegrift after two years as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Mansfield Timberview (2008-09).
Before that, Gregory was the head football coach and athletic coordinator for a decade at Austin Anderson, compiling a 39-64 record.
“As a district, we’re excited about coach Gregory coming to lead the Ellison Eagles athletic program,” said Killeen Deputy Superintendent John Craft. “He was able to demonstrate his skills to communicate, to motivate, to inspire, and we really think the Ellison athletic program is going to move forward in a great direction under his leadership.”
Craft, who led the district’s hiring committee, was Mansfield Timberview’s principal from 2008-2010.
“This is an exciting day for the Ellison Eagle family,” Ellison Principal David Dominguez said in a statement. “We welcome coach Gregory, and look forward to his contributions to the story of our proud campus. We are inspired by his enthusiasm and his passion for student success, on and off the field, and we can’t wait to get started.”
Gregory was a coach at Austin Anderson for 12 years (1995-2007), the first two as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach before being promoted to head football coach from 1997-2006.
Other finalists included Mansfield defensive coordinator Jerry Edwards and White Settlement Brewer head coach Paul Sharr, who were invited for second interviews Wednesday. Ninety-one candidates submitted applications for the job before a Jan. 7 cutoff date.
Killeen ISD conducted initial interviews with 14 of those candidates Monday and Tuesday — three current head coaches, 10 coordinators and Gregory, who was the only position coach interviewed.
No internal candidates were interviewed, according to the district.
The job opened Nov. 16 when former Eagles head coach Buddy McBryde resigned after a second consecutive winless season. McBryde guided the Eagles for five seasons, compiling a 13-37 record with no playoff appearances.
“We’re starting with a clean slate,” Gregory said. “It’s a whole new slate in front of us. We’re not going to talk about anything that happened in the past as far as records are concerned. We’re 0-0 and we’re (going to be) ready for our first ball game.”