Cooper

Gatesville head coach Kyle Cooper talks to his players on the sideline Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, against Waco La Vega in Waco.

Gatesville High School head football coach Kyle Cooper has given his verbal intention to school officials to resign from the position and join Art Briles at Mount Vernon High School in East Texas.

Gatesville Independent School District officials confirmed the move on Tuesday.

“Coach Cooper is going to Mount Vernon to work under Coach Art Briles,” Gatesville Superintendent Barrett Pollard said in an email to the Herald. “We wish Kyle and his family the best of luck in his new endeavor.”

Cooper has coached for Gatesville for 12 years, and finished last season with a record of 3-7.

“We will begin the search for his replacement soon. No decisions have been made yet, but we will place a high priority on filling the position since two-a-days are right around the corner,” Pollard said.

Gatesville’s first game will be at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 30 at Midlothian Heritage, according to Max Preps.

The news broke in late May that Mount Vernon had hired Briles — two-time Big 12 champion coach fired by Baylor three years ago amid a sexual assault scandal — to lead the football program.

Mount Vernon ISD Superintendent Jason McCullough said in late May in an interview with several television reporters that the district in the small community “vetted coach Briles to the best of our ability” and believed that the process “was one that our community would be proud of, and one that we know that we did our job with.”

When asked if that process included talking to any of the victims or NCAA officials, McCullough said the district had not.

“We believe that Coach Briles was sincere in expressing remorse over what occurred at Baylor while he was employed there,” McCullough said in a statement in which he pointed out he had one daughter and two granddaughters. “(We) would never hire anyone if we did not feel confident they would adhere to high standards of conduct and student safety.”

Briles has been with a professional team in Italy since last year. He had been unable to get a coaching job in the United States since he was fired after an external investigation revealed in May 2016 that Baylor had for years mishandled numerous sexual assault allegations by students, including some against football players.

Mount Vernon has less than 3,000 residents that is about 100 miles east of Dallas. The district’s board of trustees approved a two-year contract for Briles.

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