On Monday, Bob Shipley officially took over as head football coach and athletic director at Belton High School.
Shipley spent last season as an analyst in the player personnel department at the University of Texas after head coaching stops at Brownwood, Coppell, Burnet and Rotan where he compiled a record of 126-46. Shipley met with a large crowd of parents and students for nearly an hour after his introductory press conference. Shipley spoke with the Herald’s Jordan Mason on his move from Austin to Belton.
Have you ever met with members of the community like that for an hour after your first press conference?
No. No, that was unbelievable.
Has the reaction from the community surprised you?
The last thing I thought I would do tonight is get choked up. And I had been sitting up front for a while and had no idea that many people had gathered back there. I got up and I turned around; it just kind of took my breath away because I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. So, obviously, that’s a good way to start.
You mentioned that you weren’t looking to leave Texas. What did you enjoy most about your time in Austin?
What an incredible university. Being able to work for Mack Brown, that was an experience unto itself. He’s such an incredible man and such a good leader. And then to be able to have Charlie Strong come in and be a part of the staff, the first African-American head football coach at the University of Texas, that’s incredible. And he’s going to be very successful. In fact, I blame this on Charlie. I told him it was his fault because he got me fired up about going in and making changes and getting the kids to believe in you and breathing life into a program. He kind of fired me up.
And then when (Belton ISD Superintendent Susan) Kincannon called, I was right in the middle of all that with him and seeing how excited all the kids were and what he was doing to the program.
So, I thought, “Hey, I think I might want to do that too.” So, it’s kind of funny how the timing worked out on the two.
Did you miss anything about the high school game?
Oh, sure. There’s no doubt. You miss coaching, mostly being around the kids. I was involved with player development at the university, so I got to spend some time with the kids. But actually being on the sideline and coaching competitively is something that I missed. I was charting defense in the press box. ... But it was a great learning experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. There’s 10,000 high school coaches that would give anything to be able to do what I did for a year, and it’s allowed me to step back for a year and kind of re-evaluate things, recharge my batteries and get some new ideas and a new way of doing things in some areas. So, I think it’ll be very helpful.
What has impressed you most about Belton High School?
It’s the people. Dr. Kincannon has been awesome. There were a lot of people pulling her in a lot of different directions on giving her different advice on who to hire. So, I didn’t have anybody really pulling for me because nobody knew that I was in on it (laughing). So, I’m thankful that she chose me. I think she’s going to be great to work with. When you meet her and you meet (Chris) duBois, the principal, and you meet the other staff and the few kids that I’ve met, and of course, (former Belton and current Texas quarterback) David Ash is a great advocate for this program and this community. David is very close to my family, he spent many nights at our house, he calls my wife “Big Mama.” ... So, he did a pretty good sales job too.