High School Football

Southlake community implores Carroll ISD board to keep football coach Hal Wasson

The Carroll ISD school board heard from parents and a student during Monday’s board meeting, as the fate of embattled head football coach Hal Wasson and a report headed to the UIL nears completion.

“It would be a mistake to fire coach Wasson. Everything would be completely different if he was gone,” varsity manager Blake Dorman said. “His halftime speeches and before the game made football a different game.’’

School board trustees and Superintendent David Faltys met Monday with school district attorney Sandi Tarski in executive session to discuss the report.

On Jan. 24, the district placed Wasson on administrative leave and Faltys announced a review of the football program by athletic director Darren Allman, assistant superintendents and the human resources department.

One citizen, Danny McDaniel, spoke before executive session. McDaniel, father of junior running back T.J. McDaniel, appealed to the board the value of how much Wasson loves his players and said his son would come home from practices raving about Wasson.

“I’ve seen the fruit of how he’s valued in kids’ lives,” Danny McDaniel said. “That man loves kids. He not only loves football, but he loves and values young men in creating champions in life.

“My appeal to you is to take things like that into consideration as you move through this process.”

The board returned to public comments — all about Wasson — around 9:40 p.m., with five parents and a student manager addressing the board.

“I speak for all the football families that we fully support coach Wasson and everyone on the staff,” said Keri Humble.

Wasson, 61, is 121-25 in his 11 seasons at Carroll, including a state championship in 2011.

The district review is focusing on procedures as they relate to UIL rules, and ensuring employees’ understanding and compliance with district policies, practices and guidelines.

Wasson’s attorney, Austin-based Karl “Tiger” Hanner, said Monday via email exchanges that he and his client have only met with the district once and have not received any results of the review.

“We feel extremely confident that we will be able to address all of the concerns and look forward to returning to the sideline next season,” Hanner said.

The Dragons’ off-season program is being monitored by the assistant coaches. McDaniel told reporters later that there didn’t appear to be any change in the way the off-season was progressing.

If any move on Wasson’s future was to be made, district spokesperson Julie Thannum said it would be specifically addressed in a future school board meeting agenda. Carroll’s school board has the option of calling a special meeting if necessary. The next scheduled meeting is Feb. 26.

Wasson is in the middle of completing the first year of a two-year contract. A Star-Telegram story this past fall noted Wasson’s salary at $115,126.

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