By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (January 28, 2016) — Longtime Stephenville coach Mike Copeland will serve as interim athletic director at Stephenville ISD until a permanent AD is named, according to superintendent Matt Underwood.
“I am very excited to announce that Mike Copeland will serve as the interim athletic director until a full time replacement is named later this spring,” said Underwood in a press release Thursday evening. “Coach Copeland exemplifies the core values of SISD and continues to be an advocate of children and all that extracurricular activities represent. He is respected locally and statewide and will bring a wealth of experience to the position.”
Copeland has coached four decades in Stephenville, winning district championships in football, girls basketball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls track and field and boys and girls tennis. The versatile Copeland was defensive coordinator on four state championship football teams in the 1990s and cornerbacks coach when the Yellow Jackets captured their fifth state title in 2012.
Copeland was head football coach and athletic director at Stephenville from 2000-02, then officially retired, though he was never really out of coaching entirely. He returned to SHS in 2008 and announced before this season that he would no longer serve as an assistant football coach.
Currently, Copeland teaches an introductory to athletics class to Stephenville sixth graders. He begins his role as interim AD Monday.
Underwood has said the athletic director’s position will be posted to the public during the week leading up to spring break in March. The position is open because first-year AD Alan Haire has resigned effective February 8 to become head football coach at Salado, his alma mater. Haire and Copeland will work together next week.
Haire was the first athletic director that was not also head football coach at Stephenville. Underwood has said the AD position will remain separate from head coach positions.
Underwood said the number of internal candidates for the full time AD position has grown to five. The superintendent did not say if Copeland is one of those interested in the position full time and he did not name any of the internal candidates.