Keller Citizen

Trophy Club Byron Nelson head football coach departs for UIL position

Trophy Club Nelson football coach Brian Polk announced he is leaving to take an athletics position within the UIL.
Trophy Club Nelson football coach Brian Polk announced he is leaving to take an athletics position within the UIL. Star-Telegram archives

Trophy Club Nelson head football coach Brian Polk said Monday he is stepping down to accept an assistant athletic director position with the UIL.

Polk, 39, who has been at Nelson since the Northwest ISD school opened in 2009, will remain through Dec. 18. He is expected to start in his new position in early January. Polk reunites with former Northwest athletic director Susan Elza, who became the UIL’s Director of Athletics in August. Elza hired Polk from Van Alstyne when she was at Northwest.

“I just have a great opportunity to be able to work for the UIL and have an impact on our state,” Polk said. “I love being around kids and will miss some of that.”

In six varsity seasons (2009 was a junior varsity season), Polk was 35-29 and directed the Bobcats to the then-Class 4A playoffs in 2011 and 2013. He then oversaw the school’s transition to a Class 5A (now 6A) program. Following a 3-7 2014 season, the Bobcats rebounded to 6-5 in 2015. They qualified for the 6A Division I playoffs before being ousted by three-time state champion Allen 50-14 in the bi-district round.

“I hope what we have done is show that you can win,” Polk said. “It’s not easy to start a program from a district that historically has not had a ton of success. But this school district is on the rise.”

The process of finding a successor will start quickly. The position is expected to be posted this week. Northwest ISD athletic director Joel Johnson is hoping to interview finalists the week of Jan. 18. If all goes smoothly, a new name could be presented to the school board by the Jan. 28 meeting. One of the candidates expected to pursue the position is Nelson offensive coordinator Byron Bode, who has been with Polk since the school opened.

Nelson will remain a 6A school when the UIL releases its new realignment on Feb. 1. It has an enrollment of more than 2,500 students. Typically, the Northwest schools are aligned with the Keller schools.

The school is also in an intriguing drawing area. The Northwest ISD is believed to be one of the fastest growing districts in Texas.

“I think it’s the highest profile position that will come open in the state,” Johnson said. “Just in the short amount of time that the school has been there, a tradition of winning has come with it.”

Polk succeeds Peter Contreras, who retired on Sept. 30.