The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

Puckett’s replacement named

Pucketts+replacement+named

Successfully emerging from a field of 192, Matthew Green, has been nominated to take the head coaching position for the football team next year.

“Pending approval from the school board, we will have a new head football coach,” Principal Gavan Goodrich said.

If Green is approved he will begin sometime in February.

Jim Bob Puckett had recently announced he will not be the head football coach next year, spurring nearly 200 applicants to apply for the position.

“Coach Puckett stepped down and is going to be the full time athletic director,” Goodrich said. “We interviewed coaches last week and the superintendant has selected Matthew Green to be the new head coach.”

One of Puckett’s highest priorities, along with the help of a committee, was to search for and select a viable candidate to replace him as head coach.

“There were 192 total applicants, and I went through every single one of them and narrowed it down to 12 candidates that we brought in for a round-robin interview on Monday, January 16,” Puckett said. “After the conclusion of those interviews, we narrowed it down to 3 that we brought in on Friday, January 20. During the final round each candidate had 2 hours to present their vision of Leopard football and the community and from those 3 candidates we choose one to take to the Superintendant Mr. Moore, for a final interview.”

Green’s vision for the program along with other qualities were taken into consideration to decide which of the candidates would be brought first to the superintendant, and then to the school board.

“The committee looked at the person’s experience, character traits, philosophies and their ability to consistently be successful,” Goodrich said.

Previously, Green was offensive coordinator at Lake Travis High School, and has had several successful seasons there, but decided to leave last year when his wife, Julie, was offered the head volleyball coaching position/athletic coordinator for Coppell’s High School.

“He’s been part of three state championships at Lake Travis, a well-known football powerhouse in the state of Texas where he was the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator for that program,” Puckett said.

The schools similarities with Lake Travis further led Puckett and Goodrich to believe that he would be a good fit as head coach.

“There are many similarities between the community and school districts of Lake Travis and Lovejoy,” Puckett said. “Aside from the success we have already had in the short history of our program, there’s still a lot for room for improvement. He detailed very well the plan he had to take from what we already have and change it in some areas that could maximize our potential as we move into 4A, similar to how he did with Lake Travis.”

The current coaching staff’s future is in question, as a new head coach typically brings new assistant coaches with him.

“Usually what happens when a new coach is hired is that they will come in and talk to the team and the current staff and they will share their vision,” Puckett said. “Normally, they interview every staff member that is currently employed and determine whether that staff member or coach wants to stay here or move on and whether they will fit into their plan for the program.”

For the time being though, no decisions have been made on the existing coaches.

“Once Coach Green is confirmed and made official we will start making a plan and heading down that path of staffing the new team,” Puckett said.

If Green is approved at the next board meeting, he will likely begin his duties immediately.

“[If approved] it is likely he will start in February,” Goodrich said.

The prospect of bringing Green aboard brings nothing but enthusiasm for Puckett.

“I’m just excited for the opportunity that Coach Green brings to the Leopard football program,” Puckett said. “I’m excited for the kids, faculty and community that he will bring to this school district.”

Green is anticipated to bring success to the program as the school jumps up to 4A.

“Just like all of our other athletic teams, I feel like we will continue to have success,” Goodrich said. “We have dedicated students and athletes, who train hard, and we have good coaches. If you take all of those things that we have and continue to coach students at a high level then we will continue to have success.”

However, the move to 4A along with the head coaching change will require adjustments to be made.

“I think that change is always difficult and how we respond to the change is going to be important,” Goodrich said. “The goal of the committee was to find the best possible coach for our students and to provide the best situation for us to be successful.”

 

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Samantha Wendt, Managing Editor
Initially, the legendary snack cabinet and promise of courtside Mavericks tickets lured Senior Samantha Wendt to the newspaper class. Wendt enjoys experimenting with dessert recipes, and sometimes spends upwards of 6 hours making a decadent dessert. Even more than food, Wendt worships the Dallas Mavericks. She idolizes NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, and knows every single statistic and happening within the Mavericks organization. In the 1st grade Wendt alternated between studying the biographies of the first 42 US Presidents and learning Russian. In 4th grade, she progressed to mapping out the rest of her life; she decided to travel to every single country in the world for a year after college, become a spy for the President, take a bullet in the leg for the President which would led to her subsequent two-term election, and become a college professor until she dies. Now, Wendt has made her life plan more achievable, and aspires to join the FBI.

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