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March 26, 2014

NEW WAVERLY ATHLETICS — No more interim tag for Lane

HUNTSVILLE — After a long and exhaustive search, New Waverly now has a new football head coach and athletic director.

James Lane, who is serving as the interim football head coach and athletic director and is also the current softball coach, was approved by the New Waverly ISD school board to have the interim tag removed and take over as the football head coach and athletic director, the Item learned Tuesday.

“It’s exciting anytime you get a head coaching job,” Lane said. “I’m just blessed. I came here as an assistant. One thing led to another and here we are.

“I think what we did in Cisco was pretty amazing. They won the (Class 2A Division II) state championship and went to three state title games that I was a part of. We took that formula to Claude (2010-2012) which hadn’t won a game in three years and we went to the playoffs. I think the program we have is a good blueprint that can be successful at any level, especially the 2A level. It’s exciting to be able to put that in place.”  

The coaching search, which began in early August after Lane was tabbed as the interim head coach, concluded on Mar. 17 at the monthly school board meeting after a little more than seven months.

While still trying to narrow the list of applicants to a group of finalists, Lane was nominated and approved to be the Bulldogs’ next football coach at the March school board meeting.

“We had different committees look at the applicants and had each one come up with their recommendation,” New Waverly ISD superintendent Darol Hail said Tuesday. “It was a tough job to narrow down. We did our research.

“What helped was that Coach Lane had a great deal of support from the community. He had support from football players and parents as well as non-football players and parents.

“We still did our homework on every candidate and we had several great candidates. We feel we didn’t do this in haste.”

Despite suffering with injuries that plagued the Bulldogs during a 1-9 campaign last fall, Lane is eager for a chance to work an offseason program with his players in the springtime in order to have a productive plan in place by the time preseason workouts come around in August.

“We went 1-9 but we had games where we were right there. Groveton got third in the district and we lost to them 36-32. Anderson beat us by 12,” Lane said. “Our biggest thing was that we had 18 guys get hurt throughout the year. Having a good offseason program will help that and me getting them more comfortable with them and them with me. I’m excited.”

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