By Matthew Girard
Killeen Daily Herald
The Ellison Eagles didn't have to look far for a new head football coach and athletic director.
On Friday, Killeen Independent School District Athletic Director Martin Allen announced defensive coordinator Buddy McBryde will have the interim tag removed and become Ellison's new football coach and athletic director.
"I feel great about it," said McBryde, who has 23 years of coaching experience and has been Ellison's defensive coordinator for the past three seasons. "It's very good for me and definitely (good) for the kids. They definitely wanted a decision to be made."
Ellison was looking for a coach and athletic director after Bret Boyd left to take the same positions at Goose Creek Memorial High School in Baytown. In seven seasons, Boyd was 28-47 at Ellison and led the Eagles to three straight state playoff appearances, including this past season. McBryde has served as the interim athletic director since Boyd announced his resignation on Dec. 12.
KISD Assistant Athletic Director Tom Rogers said McBryde was a natural fit for the job.
"It's a good situation when you have somebody that's already on board that the kids know," Rogers said. "It's an easier transition."
McBryde said he is excited about taking over the Ellison football program.
"I've been working with the kids for three years and we have a good group coming back and it's a great opportunity for me and there are a lot of good kids to work with," McBryde said.
McBryde started his coaching career in Bastrop and eventually became the head coach at Woodsboro. Before joining Boyd at Ellison, McBryde was the offensive coordinator in Georgetown for eight years.
With McBryde as defensive coordinator, the Eagles made three straight playoff appearances and allowed 23.7 points per game in three seasons.
McBryde said the defense won't look any different, but the offense will go through some changes.
"We will stay with the same defense, but offensively we'll be a little bit more run-oriented than what we've been in the past," McBryde said.
In January, Allen said he received 63 applications for the opening and wanted to have a coach and athletic director in place before March 1.
Rogers said 18 applicants were interviewed for the opening and naming a coach as soon as possible was key.
"It's always good when you can get a new coach in there as quickly as possible, because the kids and the parents are all wondering," Rogers said. "Everything was going well over there, but it's just more settling when the kids know who is going to be their leader."
McBryde said he is only looking to fill two assistant coaching positions (offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator) at the moment.
"The rest of the coaching staff is going to remain intact as far as I know at this point," McBryde said. "The coaching staff that we have in place is great, and that's one of the other good things about this job."
Contact Matthew Girard at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7569.