Southlake Carroll head football coach Hal Wasson, who guided the Dragons to the 2011 Class 5A Division I state championship, has been placed on administrative paid leave pending a review of the program, an official with the Carroll ISD said Wednesday.
The review is focusing on three main areas:
▪ The culture of the football program as it compares to the district expectations and the upholding of the district’s core values.
▪ Procedures as they relate to UIL rules.
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▪ Ensuring employees’ understanding and compliance with district policies, practices and guidelines.
Carroll athletic director Darren Allman is conducting the review along with other assistant superintendents and the district’s human resources department. The district is working with Wasson and his staff to identify areas of concern. Allman referred all further questions to the district.
The district has been in contact with the University Interscholastic League regarding its review. A final report will be shared with Texas high school athletics governing body once it has been completed. Paid leave is considered standard procedure. Offensive coordinator Mark Humble and defensive coordinator Tim Wasson and other assistants will be handling the off-season program in the interim.
Wasson, 61, has been the head coach at Carroll since 2007. He was an assistant there from 2001-02 before taking over at Keller Fossil Ridge. In 2002, his son Chase was the quarterback of the Dragons’ first 5A state championship team.
In 2017, Wasson directed the Dragons to a 10-4 record and appearance in the 6A Division II state quarterfinals before falling to Waco Midway, 42-28. Wasson is 121-25 (.828 winning percentage) at Carroll.
A text message to Wasson seeking comment was not returned.
“We have an outstanding history of excellence in this program,” the district said in a statement. “But sometimes it is necessary for us to take a closer look at our operations and ensure that they are aligned with our core values and with the rules and regulations that go with high school athletics.
“Our priority will be taking care of kids and moving the program forward as we protect the tradition of Dragon athletics.”
Carroll has enjoyed unparalleled success since the late 1980s. The program has won eight state championships between 3A and 5A and made nine overall appearances. The team has qualified for the playoffs 18 consecutive years.
This latest playoff run was a bit unexpected. The Dragons finished the regular season at 7-3, but just 5-2 in District 5-6A and finished third with losses to Euless Trinity and Hebron.
However, the playoff run was sparked by a 33-15 win over defending 6A Division II champion DeSoto. The Dragons then defeated Arlington, 28-24, in the regional round before the appearance in the state quarterfinals.
Before that, Carroll had not advanced past the second round since 2014.
The program is sending two players to Division I programs. Offensive tackle Jackson Kimble has already signed with Baylor. Defensive end Jacob Doddridge has committed to Rice and will sign his National Letter of Intent on Feb. 7.
The personnel move comes a week before the UIL’s biennial realignment, scheduled for Feb. 1. Carroll will remain a 6A school. It turned in a preliminary enrollment of 2,725.