LAMPASAS — Randall Hoyer has a difficult decision to make, but it is a good problem to have.
In the 10 days following the resignation of former athletic director and head football coach Jimmy Randolph, the Lampasas Independent School District Superintendent’s office was flooded with applications. A total of 132 resumes were submitted in response to the opening, leaving Hoyer a bit overwhelmed.
“I was surprised to see the level of interest,” Hoyer said. “But it kind of made us feel good that there were that many people and a lot of really good quality people that applied for the position.”
Since closing the window for accepting applications last Friday, Hoyer and his interview committee pared down the stack to 10 candidates, who will interview by Tuesday afternoon. The first was conducted Thursday, and Hoyer can already tell determining a maximum of three finalists by Tuesday evening will be an extremely difficult task.
“If today’s interview is any indication of what the next nine are going to look like, it is going to be a really tough decision to get it down to one or two,” Hoyer said.
Finalists will be determined Tuesday evening at a committee meeting and brought back for a second interview beginning Thursday. Hoyer intends to spend an entire day with each finalist before announcing his recommendation at a regularly scheduled LISD school board meeting on March 4. A special called meeting will then be held on March 6 with the only agenda item being the hiring of the Badgers’ new athletic director and head football coach.
The pool of candidates spans the coaching spectrum with three having no experience as a head coach or athletic director, five possessing 16-22 years experience in the coaching business and two with at least 28 years experience.
The 10 finalists separated themselves based on their qualities matching the school board’s ideal profile for the position, Hoyer said. Criteria included strong public relations skills, the ability to develop athletes and, to a lesser degree, experience turning programs around.
“We want somebody who can come in and build us a competitive program,” Hoyer said. “We understand that we are in a very, very tough district. Brownwood, Burnet and Liberty Hill have a rich history and tradition. We want to be there one day, but we know it is going to take time, and we know that we want somebody who will commit to it, get us competitive and perhaps build it to that level.”
This is the second time in less than a year Lampasas is forced to find a new head coach. Following Joey McQueen’s departure to accept a wide receivers coaching position at Hardin-Simmons University, Randolph emerged as the lone finalist and was promoted from defensive coordinator — a position he held for five seasons — on April 2.
In his only season as head coach, Randolph went 1-9, ending the season on a seven-game losing streak and losing all five District 8-3A games. On Jan. 31, citing family reasons, Randolph submitted his resignation, which was officially granted by the school board on Feb. 4.
While Hoyer was surprised at the level of response the opening produced, he believes there are several reasons why the position is attractive, including the city’s location, the community’s quiet atmosphere, the school’s size, and the school district’s established continuity and lack of turnover. He also admits Lampasas’ facilities are extremely appealing with one exception.
“Badger Stadium may not be as nice as we would like it to be,” Hoyer said, “but take that away, our other facilities are top notch.”