By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
In the house that Joey McQueen built, Lampasas superintendent Randall Hoyer knew there had to be a replacement for the Badgers' former head football coach and athletic director.
There, in the foundation, Hoyer found him - Badgers defensive coordinator and head track coach Jimmy Randolph.
Randolph will be the lone finalist presented to the Lampasas ISD school board April 2 to become the Badgers' athletic director and head football coach.
"As our committee looked at it, we had some very, very good applicants, but as we narrowed it down, coach Randolph's name just kept coming to the top," Hoyer said. "At one point, I was looking at maybe naming two or three finalists, but when it got down to it, we said we've got the best applicant right here inhouse."
Hoyer, 51, will replace McQueen who stepped down Feb. 9 to become the wide receivers coach at Hardin-Simmons University. The Badgers were 19-14, went to the playoffs twice and won a district title in McQueen's three years as head coach.
"I'm excited, I am thrilled, I have some monster, monster shoes to fill," Randolph said. "Coach McQueen set the bar extremely high and I'm going to attempt to do what I need to do to live up to that and clear that bar."
Lampasas was in the midst of a 20-game losing streak and hadn't been to the playoffs in almost a decade when McQueen took over in 2009. But from the onset, everything changed. The Badgers won their season-opener against Manor in 2009 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2000.
After missing the playoffs in 2010, the Badgers went 10-2 this season and won the District 25-3A title.
"Coach McQueen and I talked about that and we kind of compared it to building a house. We cut wood and nailed boards, and I've nailed lots of board in the foundations of this house," Randolph said. "I'm so honored to have the opportunity to maybe try to put some bricks on it."
Lampasas received 76 applications and Hoyer interviewed 10, including five current head coaches and Lampasas offensive coordinator Greg Porter.
Hoyer, who's been at Lampasas for five years, has been a teacher for 28 years and served as head coach and athletic director at Crowell and Cross Plains. He's also had coaching stints at Gonzales, Reagan County ISD and Sonora.
"With Jimmy being the head coach, the coaches that are there understand that it's going to stay the same and they'll be a few adjustments, but the only adjustment, really, is that some old bald guy left," McQueen said.
"Nothing's going to change and that's what our kiddoes need and that's what they want is some continuity and some consistency with our program. That's what they're going to get," Randolph said. "The only difference is that the head guy happens to be grey-headed instead of bald-headed."
Consistency, and not just for the programs' continued success, was paramount for Hoyer and Lampasas ISD when they were looking at hiring McQueen's replacement.
"Coach McQueen is steller when it came to leading as a role model for young men and young ladies as far as his values, his character, the type of image that we portrayed in our athletic department. I feel that coach Randolph exhibits and has many of those same values and characteristics," Hoyer said. "Winning will take care of itself."