By BRAD KEITH
(June 24, 2017) —Just a couple weeks ago, Lingleville was down to one coach in the school district, none for football and boys basketball.
Superintendent Curt Haley wasted no time in filling the empty boys coaching positions, receiving confirmation from his school board this week for the hires of Ken Davis as head coach for football and boys basketball, with James Boyle assisting in both sports.
The plan, said Haley in a Saturday phone interview with The Flash Today, is to have Boyle learn more football, specifically more six-man football, from Davis, then take over the that program, allowing them to each head up one of the school’s primary boys sports and assist with the other.
“We’re in this tough football district with Gordon and Strawn and all them, and I don’t want to throw a young coach to the wolves,” said Haley. “(Davis) has some experience in the six-man game, so he will take the lead for at least this first year. Hopefully, after a year or two, (Boyle) will be ready to be head football coach and they can assist each other both ways. We’ve done it that way in the past and had it work just fine.”
Each will work under the umbrella of newly minted athletic director Davin Schulz, who enters his second year in Lingleville and is head coach of girls basketball and volleyball. It’s a move that alleviates some of the load carried by Haley, who was acting as athletic director himself.
“I have enough irons in my campfire, I really don’t want the AD iron if I don’t have to have it,” said Haley. “The school board said they like (Shulz), they know he loves our kids and is always in it for them, and he doesn’t appear to want to go anywhere, so the board agreed with me and we all said let’s give him a chance.”
Davis had a career before getting into education, said Haley, and when he did decide to switch gears he knew he wanted to coach. As soon as he was certified, he began his career in Roby, hometown of former Lingleville and current Odessa High School head boys basketball coach Jance Morris. He even coached Jance’s younger brother, Zane, during his time there.
“Small world, it’s a small, small world,” said Haley.
Small enough that Davis’ wife, Kelly, worked with Shulz at Walnut Springs. Kelly Davis is also making the switch to Lingleville, where she will teach first grade, says Haley.
“(The Davis’s) have a place in Iredell and they had wanted to come closer to home, so his most recent job was coaching there in Iredell a few years,” said Haley. “He’s taken a couple years off for family reasons, but now he’s ready to get back at it, and we’re glad to have a man of his character to lead our boys.”
Boyle was a member of the US Marine Corps before using the GI Bill to get his education, earning a master’s degree in athletic administration at Tarleton State.
“He’s going to teach (physical education) and coach for us,” said Haley. “I actually know his family from years past. He’s originally from Clifton, and I know he comes from good folks.”
Haley said Boyle, once a champion discus thrower, will be head coach of powerlifting and both will have other coaching duties as assigned by Schulz.
“I’ve got a full staff now. Some summers you have more spots to fill than others, but it’s always a good feeling when you get the staff full,” said Haley. “Hopefully we don’t have any surprises and we’ll be ready to go with the new year. It will be here before we know it.”
That’s especially true for coaches. The UIL has set the first date for volleyball practices as Tuesday, August 1, while football teams are allowed to begin on Monday, August 7.