The Carroll school district is in the process of buying out head football coach Hal Wasson, following Tuesday’s board of trustees closed-door session.
Wasson has been on paid leave since Jan. 24, as the Dragons football program has come under scrutiny. He’s in the middle of completing the first half of a two-year contract.
“Actually, we have not been working on a settlement at all to this point,” Wasson’s attorney, Karl “Tiger’ Hanner, said in email Tuesday evening. “CISD attorneys informed me this morning that the board took no action, but authorized the superintendent to make a settlement offer. Coach Wasson and I are reviewing the offer at this time.”
A Star-Telegram story this past fall noted Wasson’s salary at $115,126.
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Tuesday morning, Carroll trustee David Almand announced they are “authorizing the Superintendent to pursue and finalize a resolution regarding head coach Hal Wasson’s employment, pursuant to the terms discussed in closed session.”
Wasson’s departure started Jan. 24 when superintendent David Faltys said in an email letter to Dragon Football Families that the district had determined there was a need to conduct an internal review of the program.
A copy of the report was obtained through an Open Records Request by the Star-Telegram.
▪ The head coach held two football summer team camps within the boundaries of the school district. Only one is allowed by the UIL, and students were solicited to attend both camps.
▪ A sixth-grade football camp for Carroll students was held at the high school on dates prohibited by the UIL, and Carroll football coaches were paid to conduct the camp.
▪ Carroll football coaches held camps in the Carroll attendance zone that were attended by students who play on the Carroll football teams, which is a UIL violation.
▪ Carroll football coaches instructed athletes in football specific drills outside of the school day during the off-season, which is a UIL violation.
▪ Football sub-varsity athletes were required to go through off-season workouts on game day, which is a UIL violation.
▪ Coaches, who were under contract with other districts, were working with members of the Dragon football team before they officially joined the Carroll program, which is a UIL violation.
On each of the findings, the report includes corrective actions being taken by the district. These include annual audits of all camps by the athletic director, and education provided to players, parents, staff and coaches on UIL rules and guidelines.
“I wanted to express that I am personally disappointed in the overall process and how this investigation was initiated and how it was conducted,” board secretary Danny Gilpin said. “I also wanted to take a moment to thank coach Wasson for his years of service and contribution to the football program. I’d just personally hate one’s reputation impacted in the manner in which this is played out.”
Wasson’s son Chase, daughter Chelsea and brother Tim were there in support.
“He’s poured his heart and soul into not only this community, but these players and these parents,” said Chase, who was a quarterback on the 2002 Southlake Carroll team that won a UIL Class 5A state title under Todd Dodge. “I know my dad is very passionate about developing young men, so yes, this is very much a personal attack not only on him, but it’s something I take very personally.”
Also there was Jack Richards, father of 2010 Carroll graduate Jackson Richards, who played defensive end at Texas Tech for four years.
“I can’t say enough of Hal’s character,” Richards said. “I’ve done this on my own free will just because I know Hal and I respect Hal. I think he’s done a tremendous job here and I’d hate to see us lose people like this.”
“They talk about protecting the tradition out here and Hal Wasson has earned the right to do that,” said former Dallas Cowboy Jay Saldi.
Saldi said he’s been friends with Wasson for decades. His sons John (2001) and Bryce (2007) played at Carroll.
Wasson is 121-25 with an .829 winning percentage in his 11 seasons at Carroll, including a state championship in 2011.
The Dragons finished 10-4 in 2017 and advanced to the Class 6A Division II state quarterfinals before falling to Waco Midway, 42-28.
“He’s been a great friend to me and also a great coach for my kids,” Saldi said.