Phil Blue, who has overseen an athletic department at the Georgetown school district that includes two high schools, was approved Monday by the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD school board to become the district’s new Executive Athletic Director.
Blue, who will begin his new assignment on March 6, did not return a message seeking comment. Sources said Blue’s base salary should be about $124,500.
“He’s a man of integrity and character,” GCISD superintendent Dr. Robin Ryan said. “He has experience in a similar two high-school district at Georgetown like we have here. And he’s been very successful. We want all of our sports at both [Colleyville Heritage and Grapevine] to get to that championship level.”
The 51-year-old Blue has a 29-year history of coaching and working as an athletic administrator from 1985 to his current position in Central Texas. Blue has also worked in Abilene, Farmersville and Mineral Wells. He was a head football coach and athletic director at Celeste, Quinlan, Mineral Wells and Farmersville. Blue has been with Georgetown since 2005.
This move concludes a three-month search effort. The district believed it had another candidate ready to present to the board in January. However, that candidate remained with his current district when it counter-offered with a significant raise and other job responsibilities.
In November, the school district announced that it was creating the new executive position to bring more cohesion and a streamlined approach to the athletic department. Ryan said he and the school board started discussing the position toward the end of the 2012-2013 academic calendar.
For now, standing athletic director Tim Ford will serve in an assistant role. He was not considered a candidate for the executive position. There are no plans to add a second assistant athletic director, Ryan said.
Blue is expected to work with both high school athletic campus coordinators and principals regarding new coaching hires. He also will be working with coordinators at the middle school and elementary school levels.
However, Blue’s initial task will be finding a new head football coach at Grapevine. Dave Henigan resigned his position Feb. 11 to take a similar position at Denton Ryan. Henigan began at Denton Ryan on Feb. 17. Kyle Burch has been serving as the interim head coach.
“We understand the sense of urgency, but we want to find the best person,” Ryan said. “Phil has connections in the Hill Country and can increase the applicant pool.”
Blue will also have to determine how best to move the Grapevine baseball program forward. Longtime coach Tim McCune retired after the fall semester. Former assistant Jeff Harp is serving in an interim role.
Both the Colleyville Heritage and Grapevine athletic programs experienced dramatic shifts following the Feb. 3 UIL district realignment. For the first time in more than a decade, the two will not share the same district. Colleyville Heritage will be a Class 6A school and share a district with Southlake Carroll, Euless Trinity, Hurst L.D. Bell, Haltom, Richland and Coppell.
Grapevine, which has seen student enrollment numbers decline, is dropping to Class 5A for the next two years and will share its district with Lake Dallas, Birdville, Fort Worth Polytechnic, Fort Worth Eastern Hills, Fort Worth Carter-Riverside and Fort Worth Dunbar.
“This is not a case where Phil has to single out a single school,” Ryan said. “We’re looking at building championship programs throughout the district.”