More than 50 applicants hoped to succeed Leta Andrews as girls basketball coach at Granbury High School.
With résumés from coaches in Minnesota, Nebraska, Louisiana and Florida, Granbury athletic director Dwight Butler instead went two counties over to find the Lady Pirates’ next head coach.
Eastland’s Steve Schmidt finalized a deal late Monday night and was announced Tuesday as successor to the nation’s all-time winningest high school basketball coach.
In a career spanning more than 50 years, Andrews, 76, had 1,416 career victories and 14 state tournament appearances.
“You know we were kind of reloading at Eastland and I felt good about where the program was headed,” Schmidt said. “I had some coaches that recommended me as a possibility for Granbury and I’m excited about the opportunity.”
Schmidt had a 43-26 record in three seasons at Eastland, located about 70 miles west of Granbury, between Weatherford and Abilene on I-20. Before that, he led Argyle to the 2A state title in 2006 and was named coach of the year by the Texas Girls Coaches Association. He also led Argyle to the 2009 state tournament.
This season at Eastland, Schmidt’s team made the playoffs, losing in the bi-district round after a 16-12 overall record and third-place finish in District 7-2A at 8-6.
“I’m humbled and honored to have this opportunity,” Schmidt said. “I understand very much the tradition here at Granbury and I just want us to have a very positive environment, not just in the gym, but in our entire girls athletic program.”
Butler said Schmidt emerged as the best candidate because of his willingness to engage the entire athletic program at Granbury.
“When you’re replacing a legend in Coach Andrews, that’s not easy to do,” Butler said. “We were looking for a quality coach that embodied the philosophy that we’re trying to bring to all of the girls sports. We want our students to be involved in as many things as possible and still be competitive.
“We felt like Coach Schmidt best suited our needs in accomplishing that.”