High School Football

Program under review: Reactions run the gamut to news of Southlake Carroll football coach on paid leave

It’s rare when a Dallas-Fort Worth high school football coach makes every nightly news program in January.

Southlake Carroll’s Hal Wasson may be the first.

Carroll ISD on Wednesday placed the Dragons’ head football coach on administrative paid leave pending a review of the program.

According to the district, the review will focus on three things: the culture of the football program as it compares to the district expectations and the upholding of the district’s core values, procedures as they relate to UIL rules, and ensuring employees’ understanding and compliance with district policies, practices and guidelines.

Wasson has led the Dragons for 11 seasons, compiling a 121-25 record (.828 winning percentage). Carroll won a UIL Class 5A Division I state title in 2011.

He went 10-4 with an appearance in the 6A Division II state quarterfinals in 2017.

Initial reactions varied. Some were shocked, but there was also speculation on why it’s happening.

Did Wasson not win enough? Carroll won one state title in his tenure. He took over for Todd Dodge, who went 98-11 in seven seasons with four UIL titles, including three straight from 2004-06.

In addition to the 2011 title, Wasson’s teams reached the state quarterfinals four other times.

We must stress that Wasson’s job has not been terminated. But if this position does become open there will surely be plenty of suitors.

Dodge, at the least, should get a call.

After all, he did lead the Dragons to five consecutive title games, winning four (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006). Carroll, which moved up to the largest UIL classification in 2002, went 79-1 in Dodge’s final five seasons.

Dodge, who spent time at the college level with North Texas and Pittsburgh, has been the head coach at Austin Westlake for the past four seasons with a record of 46-10. Westlake reached to the state semifinals, quarterfinals and title game the past three years.

Will Carroll go after Todd Peterman? He resigned from DeSoto a week ago.

Peterman had a battle himself with the school district. After leading DeSoto to a 16-0 record and its first UIL state football title in 2016, reports were he’d be fired a year ago.

His contract was renewed and the Eagles finished 10-2 in 2017, where Carroll eliminated them in the second round.