Sherman announced Steve Ayers has been named the city's assistant city manager in a news release Wednesday afternoon.

(Editor's note: This article has been updated throughout.)

Sherman announced Steve Ayers has been named the city’s assistant city manager in a news release Wednesday afternoon.

Ayers, who had been Sherman’s director of public services, takes over the position from Don Keene, who left the city Monday to take a position as principal of Whitesboro Middle School. City Manager Robby Hefton couldn’t be reached at City Hall Wednesday afternoon but did comment on Ayers in the news release was sent shortly before 4:30 p.m.

“Steve is a man of honor and integrity who has built a sterling reputation during his 27 years working for the citizens of Sherman,” Hefton said in the release. “I have tremendous faith in his judgment, his skills as a manager, and his heart for serving others. Steve has some very big shoes to fill with Don’s departure, and I am confident he will fill them admirably.”

Ayers started his career with the city in 1990 as a patrol officer for the Sherman Police Department. He held various supervisory and command positions with the department during the next 25 years, including criminal investigations commander, special response team commander, field training manager and two years as assistant police chief. After his retirement from the department, Ayers became Sherman’s director of community and support services in 2015 and was named director of public services earlier this year.

The new assistant city manager said he was surprised when Hefton asked him to take on the job.

“I probably knew about the same time everybody else (found out),” Ayers said Wednesday afternoon. “I was humbled and honored he would ask me.”

Ayers said he’s excited about taking on this new position, but called just being part of the city’s management team exciting as well.

“Sherman is an exciting place to work right now, there are so many good things going on with growth and projects,” he said. “I just really believe we have an outstanding mayor and council and city manager — our leadership is second to none. I’ve been so honored and just feel privileged to be part of the team. I couldn’t ask for a better place to be or a better team to be a part of.”

Ayers said no decision has yet been made on filling his previous position in city leadership.

“I know that’s something Robby’s looking at,” Ayers said.

Prior to his tenure with Sherman Police, Ayers served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps and was selected for a three-year appointment to the presidential retreat at Camp David where he served in support of President Ronald Reagan. He is a graduate of the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas at Sam Houston State University and the Institute of Law Enforcement Administration Management College.

Ayers has been married for 25 years to his wife, Laura, who teaches middle school in Tioga. The couple has two daughters, Morgan and Bailey, and one grandson, Braxton.