— By GREG WEBB
With every new spring-summer time frame, Aledo Athletic Director Tim Buchanan faces the unenviable task of taking stock of his coaching staff and, with the Aledo ISD administration, finding the puzzle pieces to fill needs in coaching and teaching ranks.
Obviously, Buchanan is not alone in the venture — virtually all ADs everywhere face the prospect of getting the best fits for each of the vacant spots, but it does not make the task any more palatable just because he has a lot of company.
Finding new and appropriate Aledo ISD coaching personnel for the 2013-14 school year was a comparatively moderate task versus some other school years for the director and head football coach who is entering his 21st year at Aledo, but it was not without some measure of separation anxiety.
“Losing [girl’s varsity basketball coach] Rusty Johnson was a double whammy,” Buchanan said of the only head coach to leave the ranks. “I lost a good friend and a good coach.”
Johnson made his exit in the spring to take the helm of the girl’s basketball program at Northwest High School. Citing the tough move for family considerations, Johnson left the Aledo program in good shape, elevating the Ladycats to state-playoff calibre in the 2012-13 season.
With Johnson’s other coaching assignment at Aledo including an assistant’s slot on the football staff, Buchanan could easily have described the departure as a triple whammy.
But as Aledo has historically been prone to do, they have replaced quality with quality.
Mike Pinkerton has picked up the whistle for the Ladycats, coming to Aledo from current district opponent Granbury, who gave the Aledo cagers plenty of opposition in their three matches last season.
“Mike has a very good resume,” Buchanan said of Pinkerton. “He’s never been a head girls basketball coach, but he has been a head coach (track), and understands what it takes to lead a program.