LAMPASAS – Youth has its advantages, but nothing replaces experience.
After receiving 132 applications and trimming the stack down to 10 contenders, Lampasas Independent School District Superintendent Randall Hoyer announced two finalists for the Badgers’ vacant athletic director/head football coach position. The trait separating the pair from their peers is extensive coaching backgrounds.
Columbus’ David Sine and Medina Valley’s Brian Emerson each have a minimum of 20 years coaching experience, including at least a dozen years as a head coach, providing Hoyer with exactly what he wants – a veteran presence.
“I had several offensive coordinators (in my 10 candidates), who were younger guys, and had it not been such a talented pool of experienced coaches, there were some really good younger ones,” Hoyer said. “They were somewhat of a diamond in the rough, but they could have been the one.
“The two I brought back was straight-up because of their experience and their overall win-loss record as a football coach.”
Emerson is the more seasoned of the two, having coached for 30 years with two lengthy head coaching stops at Blanco, where he guided the Panthers to a Class 2A state championship in 2001, before joining Medina Valley in 2002. In 23 seasons, Emerson complied an overall record of 153-101 and made the playoffs 13 times, including six of the last eight seasons.
Sine began coaching in 1992 and earned his first head coaching position at Flatonia in 2000. Following a nine-year stint with the Bulldogs, Sine spent three seasons at Sonora before going to Columbus in 2012, producing an career record of 88-53 with six postseason appearances.
Feeling he has narrowed the search to the two best candidates, Hoyer’s focus turns to who will be the best fit for Lampasas as he completes final interviews with the two.
“I’m looking for chemistry, now,” Hoyer said. “That is pretty much what it is going to boil down to because as far as their credentials go, their knowledge of the game and their ability to manage and to lead, I think either one of these guys are good.”
With his selection in attendance, Hoyer will make his recommendation to the school board in a regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening, allowing the seven board members to meet and visit with his choice during a closed session. No action will be taken at the meeting, however.
On Wednesday, a special meeting will be called with the agenda’s lone item being the hiring of the new athletic director/head football coach.
This will be the Badgers ninth head coach since 1993 with the previous four each departing in three seasons or less. After Billy Cook and Ryan Bailey combined to produce a 4-26 record, including consecutive winless seasons under Bailey, from 2006 to 2008, Joey McQueen turned the program around, winning the Badgers’ first district championship in 20 years and reaching the playoffs twice in three seasons.
McQueen departed following the 2011 season for a wide receivers coaching position at Hardin-Simmons University, and defensive coordinator Jimmy Randolph emerged as the lone finalists for the position, becoming the Badgers head coach on April 2, 2012. Following a 1-9 campaign, including a seven-game losing streak to end the season, Randolph submitted his resignation, citing family reasons, and was released from his contract on Feb. 4.
Hoyer has been feverishly working to fill the position ever since and is looking forward to beginning a new era in Lampasas’ football program. But he is equally anticipating a break from his chaotic schedule of late.
“I may sleep all day (next) Saturday,” Hoyer said. “It is a process, and it is a time-consuming process, but I’m real excited because I feel like it has been a very positive process with a lot of good applicants. I’ll be honest, we had 10 (candidates), and I really, truly think any of the 10 we interviewed are outstanding people and would have done us a super job.”