By Jason Chlapek and Kevin Posival

Killeen Daily Herald

The Todd McVey era at Harker Heights High School is over.

McVey, who replaced longtime Heights football coach Ross Rogers in 2007, resigned from his head coach and athletic coordinator position to accept an assistant athletic director post with Katy Independent School District in suburban Houston.

McVey will work with Katy ISD AD Rusty Dowling, whom McVey worked with at Texas City in the mid-1990s and McKinney High School in the early part of this decade.

"Coach Dowling and I go way back," McVey said. "I loved my time spent at Harker Heights, and I like the direction in which the program is headed, but this (Katy ISD assistant AD) was an opportunity that was too good to pass up."

McVey will stay on board until February or March.

Killeen ISD posted the job opening on its Web site Thursday, and according to the listing, the school district will stop taking applications on Feb. 13.

McVey was 2-17 during his two-year stay at Harker Heights, including 1-9 this season. Both wins came against district opponent Belton.

"My most fond memories at Heights both came in the 2007 season," he said. "We used a hook-and-ladder play to set up the game-winning field goal to beat Belton and then scored on a Hail Mary on the final play of regulation to take then-district champion Temple to overtime.

"But the thing I'm most proud of these kids for is the way they met the academic standards and their dedication in the weight room."

McVey had four years of head coaching experience before coming to Heights and had the difficult position of filling the shoes left behind by Rogers, who retired from coaching in January 2007 with a 211-87-8 career record.

Before coming to Heights, McVey went 17-24 in four years as head coach of McKinney High School.

And before that, McVey spent 12 years in coordinator and position coaching stints at Texas City, Round Rock Stony Point, Uvalde and McKinney before finally getting his first head coach position in 2003.

In his last season at McKinney, McVey led the Lions to a 2-5 District 9-4A record and finished seventh in the eight-team district. He also guided McKinney to a playoff appearance in 2004.

When Rogers, a 1971 graduate of Killeen High School, retired from Harker Heights, he left a program that he built up from the ground before the school opened in 2000.

Under Rogers, the Knights went to the playoffs in six of his seven years and he led the Knights to a district championship in the Knights' first year and became the first Texas high school football coach to win a district title in a school's first year. He is also the first Texas high school coach to win 14 or more games in four consecutive seasons.

Rogers coached the A&M Consolidated Tigers into three state finals, including a state championship in 1991, the same year his alma mater claimed its first and only football state title.

"I think the kids (at Heights) are well on their way to a successful season," McVey said. "There is a good group of guys coming back, and I can't wait to follow their successes."

McVey played quarterback at Samuel Clemens High School in Schertz and in college at Sul Ross State, where he earned his bachelor's degree in physical education and his master's in education.

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