Well, that didn’t take long.
On Monday, we laid out several choices that Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Superintendent Dr. Robin Ryan had in front of him in light of the sudden departures of Executive Athletics Director Phil Blue (who is going to Abilene) and Colleyville Heritage head football coach Darren Allman (the newly hired Carroll ISD athletic director).
Instead of moving deliberately, Ryan acted decisively, promoting assistant AD Bryan Gerlich as Blue’s permanent successor. Ryan needed to restore calm to an athletics department that was suddenly reeling. The district just went through a major overhaul 14 months ago when Blue started, followed by his string of hires that included Gerlich.
Gerlich certainly has the experience for Ryan to entrust him to lead. He has 17 years in both athletic and academic leadership positions. More importantly, he has served as an athletic director. Gerlich was the AD at Amarillo Highland Park.
So he understands the mechanics of working with head coaches and coordinating plans between the high schools and middle schools.
There can be no doubt that Blue likely encouraged, persuaded, influenced and/or pleaded (choose your own word) with Ryan to go in this direction. But it’s likely that the Carroll AD opening may have clinched this. Before Carroll went with Allman, we learned from multiple sources that Carroll interviewed Gerlich.
So if you consider that your competitor across Highway 26 wanted to talk to your employee about its job opening, then you better recognize that compliment and act on it. If Ryan didn’t hire Gerlich, somebody else would.
Aside from keeping continuity, the to-do list is full of urgency:
▪ Gerlich has to decide what he wants to do with the CHHS head football coaching vacancy. Defensive coordinator Judd Thrash has the interim tag. Time will reveal the quality in the pool of candidates Gerlich can summon. He will be working the phones. Even if the interim tag is removed from Thrash’s title, everybody connected with that program will understand that 2015 will be viewed differently. It won’t be a concession that a difficult season awaits. But football has so many moving parts that if the season is up and down, it will be understandable.
▪ There’s also an opening with CHHS girls soccer. After nine seasons, Misail Tsapos is moving on to Flower Mound. This is a proud program and Tsapos got the maximum out of it. Gerlich is in a good position here, because that job can attract some solid candidates.
▪ You never know if another head coaching position from a major spring sport will open. Gerlich must be prepared for that.
▪ Finally, Gerlich has to find his own assistant AD. That may come from within the GCISD, or it may not.
It’s too quick to judge if this move was rushed. We really won’t know that for some time. But the head coaches at both Grapevine and Colleyville Heritage have their leader. The business of high school athletics moves forward.
One thing is for sure – it’s never boring in the GCISD.