Kevin Ozee’s departure as Carroll ISD’s athletic director may be a move that caught some by surprise. But from talking to those who were familiar with the situation, this had been in the works for quite some time.
On Monday, the Arlington ISD named Ozee as its new athletic director. A start date is somewhat flexible as he is transitioning out of Carroll and moving into Arlington. It’s a great opportunity for him to manage a much bigger district that has six schools including Arlington, Bowie, Lamar, Martin, Sam Houston and Seguin.
“I think of it as a challenge,” Ozee said. “It’s going to be a different job. For me, I’m a guy that wants to get it done today. When you’re steering a big ship, there is excitement. The Lord is leading me in position where I can serve coaches and kids.”
Ozee, 43, is an Arlington lifer and saw the opportunity arise when then-Arlington AD O.J. Kemp was about to retire. Ozee’s father, Ken, was the head football coach at Arlington Sam Houston between the 1980s and 1990s. Kevin is an Arlington High graduate. His wife graduated from Arlington Martin. Discussions started in September and then escalated over the last couple of weeks.
The move makes sense. But there’s no denying that working in athletics at Carroll is a pressure cooker. The standards are extraordinarily high. Bob Ledbetter created the tradition in the late 1980s. It can take its toll.
When you reflect on his five and a half years, Ozee accomplished quite a bit. There were 16 state championships and three Lone Star Cups.
“The biggest thing I’m proud of is that we had a family atmosphere of our coaches,” Ozee said. “At one of the first meetings I had, we talked about it. I said we know football is king. But let’s figure out a way to make sure all of the other programs are successful. We have elevated all of the sports and have more kids involved. We have the best coaches in America.”
But it’s probably a good time for both sides to part. It wasn’t always smooth. There was the interview controversy with WFAA regarding the transfer of QB Daxx Garman in 2010. Plus, Ozee probably knows he could have handled the removal of volleyball coach Arthur Stanfield earlier this year a little better. If you’re not learning, you’re not growing.
“The only regrets are that my boys won’t finish in Carroll and that maybe I should have promoted our coaches a little more to the community,” Ozee said. “I don’t think people realize the great coaches we have here.”
Ozee is at peace with this. Sometimes, you just realize when it’s time to do something else. It’s a good move for him. It’s a good move for Carroll. Everybody wins.
Well, the bi-district football playoffs for our coverage teams were nearly an 0-fer. If not for Carroll’s stunning comeback against Mansfield, we would be in basketball mode. But the Dragons are still alive.
We were pretty good in our picks. The only we missed was Keller Fossil Ridge against McKinney Boyd. We’ll keep doing the picks until Carroll has finished its season.
Last Week: 5-1
Carroll (11-0) vs. Denton Guyer (10-1); 8 p.m. Saturday, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Class 6A Division II Region area: The Dragons just love to live life on the edge with all of the cardiac outcomes. However you brand it, they just find a way to keep playing. But I don’t like this matchup with Guyer. The Wildcats are so athletic, with QB Shawn Robinson (3,710 total offensive yards, 44 TDs), 1,000-yard running back Anthony Taylor, and near-1,000 yard wide receiver Alex Honey. Guyer has scored no fewer than 40 points in a game. Carroll has to play perfect. Plus, the Wildcats are going to have to help them.
Prediction: Guyer 44, Carroll 36