By TONY EIERDAM
Mineral Wells ISD athletic director/head football coach Chuck Lawrence has been reassigned, MWISD superintendent Gail Haterius told the Index on Tuesday.
“Chuck Lawrence is being reassigned (within the district),” Haterius said. “We want to go another direction with our athletic program.
“Chuck did a good job for us, and we appreciate what he has done for the athletic program. We appreciate all of the hard work he and his staff have put in, and he did a good job of looking after all of our girls’ and boys’ programs.”
Since taking over as head football coach in 2009, Lawrence and his staff compiled a 20-32 record which included a district championship in 2010 – the first at the school in football since 1985 – and took the team to the playoffs in back to back years in 2010 and 2011. It was the first time that has happened at MWHS since the 1994 and ‘95 seasons.
However, a 1-9 season this past fall may have led to the change.
“In this (coaching) business these things happen,” Lawrence said. “But we are proud of what we have accomplished here. We won a district title, took the team to back to back playoff appearances, and all of our other sports are annually in the playoffs.
“I am in the process of looking (for another job), and I am not sure what the plan is for me here. As far as my assistants go, that has yet to be determined. We are just going to take it day to day.”
Lawrence said he is pleased with what he and his staff have accomplished.
“Looking back, we feel we did a good job,” Lawrence said. “We had the sixth winningest program in school history, and all of our sports are competitive.
“Unfortunately, we had a bad year this year in football and they decided to make a move.”
Haterius has assigned longtime MWHS coach Jackie Harvey as interim athletic director.
“Chuck is interviewing for other jobs, and this enables us to keep the athletic program up and going while he (Lawrence) decides his next move,” Haterius said.
Haterius said the district will post the job for MWISD athletic director/head football coach on Friday.
“After we post the job we plan on doing interviews in late February and into March,” she said. “Our board of trustees meeting will not be until late March, and we hope to have someone on board by then.
“We will be looking for the best candidates available.”
With the University Interscholastic League announcing new districts on Tuesday, Haterius said Harvey and MWHS principal Jon Almeida will be handling the chore of putting together the 2014 football schedule.
Haterius said Lawrence has already made contacts with other athletic directors concerning next year’s football schedule.
However, it is unknown what district the Rams will be placed in, and that information will not be available until 9 a.m. on Tuesday on the UIL web site.
“Chuck has put a couple of plans in place,” Haterius said. “No matter which direction (in UIL redistricting) we go there is a plan.
“We will also have assistant coaches at the service center on Tuesday that will help get our non-district football schedule in place. Chuck did a good job of planing ahead.”
Lawrence, a 1972 MWHS graduate who was hired as MWISD AD/head football coach in March 2009, had worked for 25 years in the junior college ranks as a head football coach and AD. Prior to that, he was AD/head football coach at Cumby, Jacksonville and Frankston.
In 1984, Lawrence went to Cisco College to become defensive coordinator and later was named head coach. He led the Wranglers from 1992-94, guiding the program to the Real Dairy Bowl in 1992, the SWJCFC title game in 1995 and the SWJCFC semifinals in 1997.
From 1998 to 2007, Lawrence was head football coach and assistant athletic director for Navarro College in Corsicana.
He went from Navarro to Lee College in Baytown where he served as athletic director until coming “back home” to Mineral Wells in March of 2008.
At Navarro, Lawrence compiled a 46-45 overall record and took Navarro to two Southwest Junior College Football Conference championship games.
Lawrence was inducted into the NJCAA Football Hall of Fame in 2009.