Northeast Tarrant

Handling an AD transition when your football team is deep in the playoffs

The Kevin Ozee era at Carroll is not officially over. While the outgoing athletics director was expecting to start his job as Arlington’s new AD this past Monday, Carroll officials obviously aren’t sitting around to decide what they want to do about a replacement.

You would have to think they are acting with a plan that has probably been in place for at least several weeks. Ozee is helping in the transition and staying through the end of Carroll’s football run. But once the Dragons are done, so is he. Obviously, everybody is hoping that will last through Dec. 20 – state championship Saturday.

But let’s speculate at the idea of what superintendent Dr. David Faltys and other officials will do.

If you’re them, you’re in no hurry at this point, because probably your first option is still busy working. That’s Carroll head football coach Hal Wasson.

Wasson has done an exceptional job running the football program since he returned in 2007. He won a state championship in 2011 and has a chance to win a second this year. Aside from that, he has guided the program to several deep playoff runs.

Plus, he knows Carroll. He’s been around it for the better part of two decades and the ins and outs of how this district clicks. Wasson also has experience hiring coaches, which is essential for the job. A new AD has to be right more than he or she is wrong.

The questions are whether Wasson is ready to leave the sidelines for the AD chair and if Dr. Faltys wants to do this. Only both men truly know those answers. But that’s why we’re writing this.

What a Wasson hire also does is make it easy to transition the program to offensive coordinator Clayton George. He would be the ideal replacement to keep the program running in the same successful direction.

Regarding George, other districts have inquired about him about becoming their head coach. They know how talented a coach he is. No doubt, Carroll doesn’t want to lose him.

Now, if Dr. Faltys doesn’t want to do this and would prefer to throw open the search, the first two names that come to mind are Carroll Senior High School principal Shawn Duhon and Midlothian AD Steve Keasler. With Duhon, he’s been in this district at both the middle school and high school levels and likely has an understanding of how those athletics programs operate. I believe there is some interest there.

Keasler was the golf coach at Carroll more than a decade ago, but he left the district in 2003 to become the assistant men’s golf coach at the University of Texas. That should tell you about his ambition. He also is working in a single-school district in Midlothian.

Obviously, we have a long way to go before this mystery is solved. But this is the start of several ideas worth considering.

The pick

Because of the recent odd deadlines, you knew I picked Denton Guyer over Carroll and blew that. But last week, I tweeted out that I liked the Dragons over San Angelo Central. Funny how Carroll is 13-0 and I’m 11-2 with their games. Oh well, we get to do it at least one more time with this team.

Last week: 1-0

Season: 57-24

Carroll (13-0) vs. Cedar Hill (11-1); 2 p.m. Saturday, Gerald J. Ford Stadium SMU; Class 6A Division II Region I championship game: Just like Denton Guyer, this is tough to pick. Cedar Hill has a great playmaker in WR DaMarkus Lodge and an excellent LB in Richard Moore. Plus, the Longhorns have been in the state championship game in 2012 and 2013. So these kids know success. But Carroll knows how to win, too. How else do you win five games inside the final two minutes? For me, this comes down to Carroll taking care of the football. I think the Dragons are a little more consistent on defense than Cedar Hill is.

Prediction: Carroll 38, Cedar Hill 35

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