The Killeen Kangaroos may have missed the playoffs in 2014, but Neil Searcy knew the team wasn't very far from the postseason.
"If you look at our program like it was a car, it's not a broken down car," Searcy said. "It's just a car that needs a tune up. We're going to do some things to tune up our engine and get revved up for the football season."
Searcy will now be the new mechanic at Killeen High School.
The Killeen defensive coordinator was offered the head coach position Friday.
"My excitement goes through the roof," Searcy said. "I am very humbled, very excited about the opportunity that has been given to me to be a head football coach and athletic coordinator at Killeen High School. I've got some big shoes to fill, but I'm very excited about the opportunity."
Killeen went 4-6 in 2014, including a 2-4 mark in District 12-6A and finished the season with a 27-14 win over the playoff-bound Shoemaker Grey Wolves. Sam Jones retired as Kangaroos head coach last month.
Killeen ISD Personnel Director Steve Cook said the district received 53 applicants for the position, interviewed 16 candidates and narrowed its search to three finalists: Searcy, current Los Fresnos head coach Clint Finley and current Midlane Lee offensive coordinator Scot Hafley.
"I believe in these kids, I love these kids, I love Killeen High School, this is where I wanted to be," Searcy said. "I've spent 10 years of my coaching career here, this is like home to me."
This will be Searcy's second head coaching stint, he served as Wichita Falls Hirschi's head coach from 2006 until 2011.
Searcy graduated from Gainesville High School in 1990 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M-Commerce in 1997.
His coaching career included assistant coaching stints at New Boston and Gainesville and was Killeen's defensive coordinator from 2000 to 2006 and again from 2011 to 2014.
Searcy said he plans on beginning spring football practice during the last week of April or first week of May and hopes continuity will be a factor in helping the team succeed in 2015.
"I think there's some consistency in the coaching staff," Searcy said. "Someone they know, someone they're going to be around so I think they'll be excited."