The Sherman girls basketball program will have a new head coach after David Upton's four-year run in charge of the program.
Upton, who had also been serving as the girls athletic coordinator, has stepped into a teaching-only role at the high school.
“This might be a good time to step back and be a dad,” said Upton, whose second-youngest son is about to enter eighth grade to go with another in the fourth grade. “I've got a lot of decisions to make. I don't want to move them. I don't want to uproot them. If I want to find something, it's going to be close."
The Sherman ISD posted the job opening on Monday and did not put any parameters on the listing in terms of experience.
“I got here and that was already in the works,” Sherman athletic director Bob Jones said. “We need to have the very best coach available for our girls basketball program. I have some people in mind. I haven't reached out to anybody. There is no timeline. We're going to do our due diligence.”
Just weeks into his job as AD, Jones is looking for a pair of head coaches. Long-time swimming coach Jodi Thompson, who led that program for 24 years, announced she was stepping down from her coaching duties in late February.
“Every coaching position is important here at Sherman and we'll get the best people we can,” Jones said. “It's all part of the job and you go to work to make sure that everything turns out alright.”
Upton went 36-90 in four seasons with the Lady Bearcats and 5-39 in district play. The program has not had a winning record and missed the playoffs for the past six seasons.
With a young core going into the most recent campaign, Sherman had designs on competing for a playoff berth. But a week into the season leading scorer Destiny Briscoe, a freshman, tore an ACL and missed the rest of the year. Two other freshman, Jayla Jones and Andre'sha Luper, also jumped immediately onto the varsity roster and joined sophomores Lilly Ball and Ally Baker and junior Sa'Nyah Hunter.
“We have the younger kids coming through now. There's some eighth-graders that look good,” Upton said. “But when there isn't a lot of depth and you have injuries, it can become a problem.”
Two other juniors, Abby Khader and Jastic Eleby, were honorable mention all-district picks.
The Lady Bearcats lose just one senior, second-team all-district selection Ja'dyne Gatewood, to graduation and will have a new district for the next two years — Denison, Wylie East, McKinney North, Lovejoy, Princeton, The Colony and Prosper Rock Hill — which was revealed in February in the latest University Interscholastic League realignment.
Upton took control of a program which had won 11 games combined over the previous two seasons and produced a 12-19 record with a fifth-place finish in district play but couldn't build any momentum off that initial impression.
The next three seasons all ended with single-digit victory totals, including this past year's 9-23 mark with an 0-10 finish in the District 10-5A standings. The Lady Bearcats have lost 21 straight district games — and 29 of the past 30 — dating back to 2018.
It was a slight improvement over 2018-19 when the team went 7-25 when Sherman also had a significant setback — first-team all-district point guard Jaylen Edmonson suffered a knee injury in the first game of the year and missed the rest of the season.
“It was a little frustrating,” Upton said. “I felt we had an injury bug the last two years that really negated any momentum we were trying to build.”
Sherman was 8-23 with a 2-10 district record in 2017-18 and was last in the 5-5A standings.
This past season was Upton's 25th year in the coaching profession. He arrived at Sherman after compiling a 105-90 record as the girls coach at Garden City High School in Kansas. Before that he was the boys coach at Crooked Oak High School in Oklahoma City, where he won a pair of Coach of the Year Awards as part of capturing eight straight district titles and made three state tournament appearances.