By BRAD KEITH
Editor’s note: The dateline says Allen because Flash Sports Editor Brad Keith is there covering the Lone Star Conference Basketball Championship. Keith interviewed new Stephenville football head coach Greg Winder over the phone this afternoon.
ALLEN (March 6, 2015) — Greg Winder has been asked to interview for head coaching jobs before.
But the architect of the prolific Stephenville offense over the last seven seasons said the fit had to be “just right.”
He found that fit. Without having to leave Stephenville.
“I’m excited. This is a great opportunity for me, and I’m looking forward to leading the program and continuing to build on the success that we’ve established here,” said Winder, who received unanimous approval from the Stephenville ISD Board of Trustees Friday to become head coach of the school’s powerhouse football program. “I feel like it’s been six months (it’s been 42 days) that we’ve been working with the kids since Coach Gillespie left, and I think everyone’s excited to know who their coach is going to be and that we will continue in the same direction.”
Winder led Stephenville to a state championship record 70 points when the Yellow Jackets captured the 2012 3A Division I title. His offense averaged 531 yards and 45.6 points per game last fall, when Stephenville reached its fifth straight state quarterfinal. They reached six quarterfinals in seven seasons with Joseph Gillespie as head coach and Winder as offensive coordinator. Gillespie left Stephenville on January 23 to become linebackers coach at Tulsa.
Winder will not serve as athletic director. Superintendent Matt Underwood recommended Alan Haire for that position Friday, and the board approved. According to a story published online by the Austin American-Statesman, Haire spent 13 years coaching football at Lago Vista – where Underwood was superintendent before coming to Stephenville last summer – and became head coach at Mabank on January 6.
Haire was one of the eight candidates interviewed by Underwood and a 13-person search committee that ultimately picked Winder for the head coach position. Winder was aware an athletic director was also being hired Friday, but said there was a sense of relief around the coaches offices with the end of the coach search.
“There is tension anytime you’re in-between coaches because there are jobs and the wellbeing of families at stake,” Winder said. “I would like to keep the staff together for the most part. I’ll get them all together and see who wants to stay, and then evaluate all the coaches.”
Winder has had opportunities to leave Stephenville over the last seven years.
“I’ve been asked to interview for head coaching jobs, but I love it here in Stephenville and would only make a move if the fit was just right. I’m not a guy who interviews just to go interview,” he said. “This job is one that definitely feels right for me, and I’m honored to have this opportunity.”