There will be no hastily-rushed rotating door of candidates this time around.
The Killeen Independent School District is planning to take its time in filling its opening for the head football coach/campus athletic coordinator position at Ellison High School
Last week, officials decided to extend the application deadline into the new year, ending when school resumes following the holiday break Jan. 7.
“We extended the deadline simply because we want to make sure we give ample opportunity to every applicant that may or may not be in the playoffs right now to apply for the job,” said KISD Deputy Superintendent John Craft.
“To be fair, if there is a coach or a coordinator or an applicant that qualifies for the job and is interested but is still in the playoffs, it’s not really fair for them to be applying for another job when their focus is with their current season.”
Upon returning Jan. 7, KISD will form a hiring committee to review and discuss all applicants and determine the best possible hire for Ellison and its student-athletes. According to Craft, KISD has already received approximately 60 applications for the opening.
Among the qualifications include teacher certification with a master’s degree preferred and at least five years of coaching experience, preferably with a minimum two years as a varsity head football coach.
“We obviously want to look at an applicant with a lot of energy, is going to be a good fit for Ellison High School and that athletic program, is going to be student-center and success-driven,” Craft said.
The job opened Nov. 16 when former Eagles head coach Buddy McBryde resigned effective at the end of his current contract after finishing with a second consecutive winless season.
McBryde guided the Eagles over the last five seasons, compiling a 13-37 record, including a first-ever 0-20 winless streak.
Although no time table for the hire is set in stone until after all applications are reviewed, Craft did indicate KISD hopes to begin setting up initial interviews with qualified candidates within a week of the application deadline.
“We do have the luxury of having some time, but that being said, obviously we’d like to at all possible have the candidate that we feel is the best fit for the job in place to get a good offseason program up and running and to be ready for spring ball,” Craft said.
“So they have the opportunity to really get to know the staff, the kids, the student-athletes, the campus, and are in the position to have a very successful season right off the bat for next year.”
Craft indicated that KISD would welcome all input from Ellison alumni, parents or any former and current student-athletes who might wish to express an opinion on the hire.
“Obviously we are looking for the best fit for the school, the students and also for the community,” Craft said.
The last time KISD had to hire a campus athletic coordinator, it was after longtime Shoemaker head coach Ken Gray abruptly retired June 9, 2011 with the football in the middle of what would be a 31-game losing streak.
Current Grey Wolves head coach Channon Hall was hired July 1, 2011 after a whirl-wind hiring period that saw nearly 20 candidates come in for interviews over a two-day period.
Forty-two candidates went through the application process and of those, 19 of 22 that were called to interview went through a shotgun-style process June 29 that lasted nearly eight hours at the KISD central administration building.