Denison football coaching search is underway

Jason Della Rosa
Herald Democrat
Denison is in the middle of a search for its head football coach that it hopes will be finished by the first week of March.

The search for Denison’s next head football coach and athletic director is well underway and the hope is that the hire will be on the job by the first week of March.

“The timeline is this — we hope to have someone employed and on board no later than March the 4th,” Denison superintendent Dr. Henry Scott said. “Now that’s if we can stick to my timeline, and I think we can.”

The school district is again using Champions Search Firm, which is led by former Southlake Carroll head coach Bob Ledbetter, to oversee the process like it did almost a decade ago.

Denison is looking to fill an opening that is rare: the Yellow Jackets will have only their fifth head football coach since 1981 after Chad Rogers stepped down to take the same position at Tioga in late January.

He guided Denison to a 7-4 record this past season with a third-place finish in District 10-5A and reached the postseason for the first time in three years after missing on tie-breakers in 2018 and 2019.

Rogers had a 49-45 record with four playoff appearances and a shared district title in nine seasons at DHS and leaves with the fourth-most victories in program history — but none in the postseason — and his tenure was surpassed only by Bob Brown’s 15 seasons and Marty Criswell’s 11. He matched Les Cranfill’s run of nine years. He is also the program’s winningest coach in the Battle of the Ax rivalry with Sherman, leaving with an 8-1 mark that includes the current eight-game winning streak the Jackets will carry into the 2021 opener.

Scott said that within the first week of posting the job there have already been 65 applicants across the coaching spectrum, including current high school head coaches and coordinators as well as interest from the college level.

Denison will be taking applications until February 23 but is expected to begin narrowing the list of candidates within the next 8-10 days with a goal of identifying in the range of 6-8 for interviews.

“Our goal is to get the best coach and athletic director we can,” Scott said. “It starts with character but he also needs to be able to work with all aspects of our community.”