Several schools in Parker and Palo Pinto counties have hired new coaches as teams prepare for uncertain seasons amid a pandemic.
Will abbreviated practice schedules, social distancing, masks, fewer people in the stands and various other COVID-19 offshoots upset the balance of power in local district play? Coaches are adjusting to new norms and procedures while teaching tried-and-true techniques to their players to prepare them for play beginning in August for small schools and in September for 5A and 6A.
Joe Kostiha is the new assistant athletic director at Weatherford High School and will be working closely with Billy Mathis, who was named athletic director in June. In 2017, the school hired Mathis as head football coach and assistant athletic director, and he led the Kangaroos to the district playoffs in 2018 and 2019.
Other new hires at Weatherford include Kaitlin Culwell, assistant coach for girls basketball and softball; Haley Heaton, head coach for girls wrestling; Jonathan Horton, assistant coach for boys basketball; Maverick Macy, assistant coach for freshman football and baseball; Cade Oliver, freshman football coach; Kyle Patterson, assistant coach for football; Jonathan Wagner, boys basketball head coach; and Lacey Yankie, assistant coach for girls basketball and track.
JD Robinson is the new head coach for boys basketball at Aledo High School, while Christina Long assumes the top spot for tennis. James Mullins takes over as head coach for girls golf, and Joe Roquemore will lead boys golf.
At Springtown High, Chase Henson is the new assistant coach for girls basketball and track, and Tayler Jones is assistant coach for boys football and track.
Millsap High hired a town native, Brandon Morton, as assistant coach for the football team. Kylie Serrato takes the reins as head coach for volleyball this season. And Callie Hull and Rebekah Sanchez accepted positions as assistant coaches for volleyball.
At Perrin-Whitt, Todd McCormick is the new head coach for boys basketball and will assist in cross country and track as well. Brady Hibbits is assistant coach for football and softball, and Kevin Loyd is assistant for football, JV basketball and softball.
Jeff Bell takes over as athletic director and head basketball coach at Graford High, replacing Ty Tabor, who departed for Krum.
Weatherford Christian added Matt Dowling as head coach for girls softball and track and assistant in football.
The Mineral Wells volleyball team has a new head coach — Erin Rincon. She replaces Sheridan Willard, who stepped down this year to raise a baby daughter.
Benita Carlton left her job as head coach of basketball at Peaster to lead the Gordon basketball team this year. Carlton has also coached at Tolar.