by MOSES LEOS III
After an exhaustive month-long search, which captivated much of northern Hays County, the Hays High athletic coordinator/head coaching position was finally filled.
However, Hays CISD had quite the task of sifting through numerous applicants before deciding on Neal La Hue.
La Hue comes to Hays from San Antonio’s Roosevelt High School.
In a formally filed open records request, Hays CISD granted the Hays Free Press documentation, in order to find out who submitted applications for the coaching position. The results stemming from Open Records Request 13-016 were a little surprising.
Over 100 applicants sent in their information, ranging from all over Texas and some parts of the United States. From the Big Bend area, to the panhandle, from the Rio Grande Valley and the Piney Woods of East Texas, coaches were eager to claim the Hays position. The furthest applicants hailed from as far north as Chicago, Illinois, and as far west as Eugene, Oregon.
The coaches and applicants themselves had impressive coaching and playing experiences. At least three coaches from 2012 4A Division I State Champion Denton Guyer submitted applications. One applicant had experience as an assistant coach at Florida powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas, which had won seven Florida High School Athletic Association football championships, including the 2012 7A title.
Two applicants had experience with Lake Travis during the school’s “Drive for Five” state title run. One coach had been an assistant at Judson during its era of dominance during the late 1990s, while another had been a colleague with Bob Shelton during his days at Buda High School.
In terms of playing experiences, there were numerous former collegiate football players at the Football Bowl Subdivision level, as well as a former quarterback in the Arena Football League.
The most surprising applicants were a few head coaches that placed their hat into the ring. Notable coaches were Dripping Springs head coach Bob Schultz, Luling head coach Colby Hensley, Columbus head coach David Sine and former McAllen head coach Tony Harris, who had been the longest tenured high school coach in the Rio Grande Valley until his reassignment in November.
Despite the plethora of applications to work with, Interim Superintendent Carter Sherff was adamant on finding the right person for the job.
“Our goal was to find a coach that has the best interests of the students; student-centered coaches are ideal for any school,” Scherff said. “Additionally, we wanted to make sure that as athletic coordinator, the new head coach would ensure that other programs in the school are also performing well.”
Sherff also addressed some of the economic impact on the search for the Hays coaching position, saying that most of the advertising done for the job went through the internet, and that the costs for such advertising was “minimal.”
The interim superintendent also said no outside search firm was hired to assist in the coach hiring process. The entire search process was conducted internally within Hays CISD.
- Coach Update: Timetable set for Hays hire 01/30/2013
- Big names show interest in replacing Shelton at Hays 01/12/2011
- Deadline to apply for Hays job ends 01/19/2011