By Evan Mohl
Killeen Daily Herald
A familiar Central Texas face with a strong connection to the Knights' winning tradition will take over the reins at Harker Heights High School.
The Killeen Independent School District named Mike Mullins the athletic coordinator and head football coach at Harker Heights on Friday. Mullins comes from Cameron Yoe where he spent the last six seasons presiding over the Yoemen.
"I thought this job was very interesting because it has so much potential," Mullins said over the phone. "I hate to leave Cameron where we've had a lot of success, but this was a great opportunity. Heights is a little bit of a bigger fish than what's in Cameron."
Mullins – the second Knights coach since 2007 – replaces Todd McVey, who resigned in January after compiling a 2-17 record in two seasons. McVey took a job as an assistant athletic director in Katy.
Mullins beat out 62 other applicants, five of whom were interviewed, due to his pedigree and experience.
"He's had success just about everywhere and that gave us the confidence in his ability to do a really good job," KISD athletic superintendent Tom Rogers said. "We think he can turn the program around to where it was the first few years. He's going to bring us back."
Mullins is 80-59-1 overall with 10 playoff appearances as a head coach at Cameron, Gilmer High School and Angleton High School. He also served as an offensive coordinator under former Knights coach Ross Rogers at A&M Consolidated. They won a state championship and appeared in three title games together.
Rogers, a Killeen High graduate, raved about Mullins and their time together in College Station. Rogers led the Knights to the playoffs in six of his seven years, including a district title in his and the school's first season, a feat no other Texas coach had ever accomplished.
He believes Mullins has what it takes to lead Heights back to the top.
"The future will be bright with (Mullins) in charge," said Rogers who's 211-87-8 overall. "He's got experience and that's what Harker Heights needs. He'll give them every chance to be successful."
Mullins is known for his offensive prowess and ingenuity. His high-octane attacks generally produce points and a lot of yardage. Last year, the Yoemen ran off more than 405 yards a game.
He also groomed quarterback Steven Townsend into one of the best in the area. Townsend completed 100 of 170 passes for 1,644 yards and 21 touchdowns and also rushed for 665 yards and 10 TDs in nine games in 2008.
"He has a great offensive mind," Rogers said. "He's willing to take chances to move the ball, and that alone will add a few wins for Heights."
The road will be tough with just two wins in the last two seasons and a talented, deep District 12-5A. Rogers added the biggest challenge will come from incorporating the middle schools into the program.
"We're going to try to bring some enthusiasm and excitement," Mullins said. "We can't wave our magic wand and get 10 wins, so we're going to have to roll up our sleeves and get to work."
Contact Evan Mohl at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7564.