By JASON GORDON
Austin McCallum head football coach Todd Raymond has agreed to become the new head football coach and athletic coordinator at Lehman High School.
Raymond was offered the job Tuesday by Hays CISD superintendent Dr. Jeremy Lyon, and he said he officially accepted it Wednesday afternoon.
Raymond was also a finalist for the Hays High School head football coach and athletic coordinator job Blake Feldt ultimately was offered and accepted a year ago.
Raymond was among three finalists Lyon picked from for the Lehman job. The other two finalists were current Lobo defensive coordinator Toby Spivey, and former Lehman assistant coach J.L. Geist, who is now the defensive coordinator at Vista Ridge.
“Since I was a finalist for the Hays job I knew a lot of people in the district,” Raymond said. “And I have a lot of friends who live down here, so I was real excited when I was offered the job. It’s a great community. Right now I have a tough commute from Round Rock. It was so important to my wife and I to have our children, who are 9 and 11, attend elementary and middle schools that feed into each other and then feed into a high school like Lehman. We’re so excited about being in Kyle and about Lehman High School.”
Raymond takes over for Steve Davis, who was hired when Lehman opened and had a 20-40 overall record in six varsity football seasons. Davis resigned late last year when Lehman principal Don Ruisinger asked him to step down from his position at the school.
“Todd looked at Lehman and saw the extreme potential so many of us see in the school,” Lyon said. “He really wanted this position and I could tell how excited he was when I offered it to him. We’re excited he will be joining the Lobo and Hays CISD families.”
Raymond said he plans on visiting the Lehman campus to meet with coaches and athletes next week.
“The sooner I can get down there, the better,” he said. “I’m ready to introduce myself to everyone at the school.”
In 2009, Raymond returned to his alma mater McCallum after a two-year coaching stint at Stony Point following the unexpected death of longtime Knights’ head coach Pat Honeycutt.
Raymond led McCallum to a 9-3 record in 2009 and the District 26-4A championship. That year, McCallum beat Lampasas in the bi-district round of the playoffs and Clemens in the area round before falling to Port Lavaca Calhoun, and Raymond was named Central Texas’ Coach of the Year by the Austin American-Statesman.
In his three years at McCallum, Raymond had an overall record of 22-12, including a 14-2 mark in district play. The Knights won district titles in 2009 and 2010.
Raymond, who won’t turn 40 until November, said leaving McCallum was a tough decision.
“When I told my players I was crying, and they were crying,” he said. “I want people to know that I’m a player’s coach and I’m all about developing relationships.”
In 2008, as an assistant coach at Stony Point, he helped guide the Tigers to a 13-2 overall record and a berth in the Class 5A Division I semifinals. Stony Point fell 23-21 in the semifinals in Waco to eventual state champion Allen.
“Todd’s a proven winner,” Lyon said. “I’m so pleased we have a coach of his caliber taking the position.”
Lyon added Raymond, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Texas, taught AP Calculus when he was an assistant coach at McCallum from 2001-2007.
“He’s someone who truly stresses academics and athletics,” Lyon said. “I was very impressed with Todd’s top-notch educational background.”
In recent years, the Lobos have made great strides on the playing fields and courts.
The Lehman football team finished 6-4 in 2011 for its first-ever winning season, the school’s baseball team has qualified for the playoffs the last two seasons, the Lehman boys basketball team qualified for the postseason for the first time in 2011, both Lobo soccer programs have been regular playoff participants through the years, the Lehman track and field programs have sent many athletes to the regional level and one to the state meet, and the Lehman tennis and powerlifting teams have routinely had athletes qualify for state competition. The Lady Lobo softball and basketball teams beat Hays for the first time last year, and the Lobo baseball team swept the Rebs in two games last season.
Still, Lehman, which opened in 2004, has yet to win a district title or a playoff game in a team sport. And Lehman, who held a 19-0 lead on Hays in the second quarter of last year’s rivalry game before the Rebels rallied for a 28-27 win, has yet to beat the Rebs in varsity football.
Raymond said Lehman’s history reminds him of his time at Stony Point. He added he has no doubts about the Lobos’ bright future ahead.
“When Stony Point opened, it was always considered a little brother to Round Rock High,” he said. “When Stony Point finally beat Round Rock in football in 2007 and 2008, and then we reached the state semifinals, it was a very big deal. I see the same thing happening at Lehman. There will be a point where Lehman beats Hays in football, but I don’t want that to be the end all. We have bigger goals – I want us to win district championships, win playoff games and compete for state titles. I wouldn’t have taken the job if I didn’t think Lehman had that kind of potential.”
The Lobos will begin play in a realigned District 27-4A along with Hays, Boerne Champion, Kerrville Tivy, Lockhart, Alamo Heights, Clemens and Seguin this fall.