By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (January 23, 2015) — After seven seasons, 72 wins and a state championship, Joe Gillespie is leaving Stephenville.
Gillespie confirmed to The Flash Today Friday morning that he has accepted a linebackers position at the University of Tulsa, where former Stephenville assistant coach Philip Montgomery is the new head coach. Gillespie starts at Tulsa on Saturday.
Gillespie guided Stephenville to its fifth state title in 2012, when the Yellow Jackets defeated El Campo 70-35 in the 3A Division I final. A hometown product, he graduated from Stephenville in 1990, returned as an assistant under current Baylor head coach Art Briles in 1995 and was on staff for Stephenville’s third and fourth 4A championships in 1998 and 1999. He was promoted to head coach in 2008.
Gillespie was 72-23 at Stephenville, including 22-6 in the playoffs. His teams reached the state quarterfinals six times in seven seasons. He broke the news to his coaching staff Thursday night and to his players Friday morning.
Montgomery was offensive coordinator at Baylor before accepting the Tulsa job.
A source with knowledge of the situation says Stephenville ISD will form a search committee to find Gillespie’s replacement. Internal candidates will reportedly be considered.
Stephenville superintendent Matt Underwood released a statement Friday morning, saying “The staff and students at Stephenville ISD would like to thank Coach Gillespie for his service and success over the last twenty years and wish him the best of luck at his new position. The District will provide further information about the process to name his successor next week.”
Check back with The Flash Today for further updates to this developing story.