Assistant football coach takes head coaching position in Dallas


Courtesy of Phillip Murray

Assistant football coach Phillip Murray is leaving the teach at a Dallas school. Above, he takes a picture for good luck with athletic trainers during football season.

Caroline Smith, Managing Editor

The end of the school year is often filled with changes and academic challenges. However one staff member, Pre-AP World History teacher Phillip Murray, will begin preparations a little early as he starts a new job April 6 at Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas.

“It was an opportunity to advance my career,” Murray said. “Also to move a little closer to home to see my family more.”

Murray will be the new head football coach and ISS coordinator.

“I anticipate an opportunity to work with new kids in a new role,” Murray said. “It will be my first time working as head football coach. I look forward to the challenges that come with that.”

He hopes the new position will not only further his career, but also present him with new opportunities and experiences.

“It will be significantly different,” Murray said. “While I continue to work with football kids, I will be moving out of the classroom and into a more administrative role as taking care of a lot in the building. Football wise, I’ll be less focussed on individual and more on the whole team.”

While he is leaving for a better job, Murray will be starting his new position at an odd time of the year, something that is relatively uncommon.

“Typically it doesn’t happen a whole lot with assistant coaches going from one school to another,” assistant athletic director Kyle Herrema said. “The only thing that makes it work is when you have a teacher on staff to fill that position. We were lucky at semester to be able to hire Coach Poytner and he’s also going to be on the football staff. So we wouldn’t be able to release Coach Murray if we didn’t have some replacement for him in the classroom.”

The shift will further his career, but will also present a challenge to both Murray and his former students.

“I think it will be difficult considering how late it is in the school year, but nothing we can’t handle,” student Rachel Bradley said.

Murray appreciates the students attitude and support, and believes they will continue to be successful.

“There has been general acceptance,” Murray said. “There has been scattered amounts of sadness but overall everyone is ok with my leaving because of the fact of where i’m going. I have a lot of respect for the lovejoy students and their ability to change and adapt to change. I think within a week or two they will be fully adapted to whatever Coach Poytner will do with the. They will continue to work hard as they’ve done for me this year. ”

There are many things Murray will miss here, some big and some small.

“I really enjoy the cafeteria,” Murray said. “Ill miss that. The cookies with the white stuff on top. And the kids make it enjoyable as well. The kids and professionals have been splendid.”

Leaving the students, cafeteria, and job will be difficult, but Murray believes it was the right decision.

“I struggled with the decision,” Murray said. “I really appreciate all the time and enjoyed all my interactions inside Lovejoy ISD and look forward to the future of lovejoy and my future career.”