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Henderson, Marshall land new football chiefs

By Tyler Clifton
Feb. 25, 2013 at 10 p.m.

Clint Harper knows what the red and white of Marshall High School is all about, and when the school district was searching for its next athletic director/football coach, it didn't have to look terribly far to find the man for the job.

Harper made it clear his senior year of high school he wanted to lead the Marshall Mavericks on the gridiron, and although it took twice as long as he had planned, he was the clear choice.

Superintendent Dr. Marc Smith recommended Harper for the position on Monday, and the school board accepted the nomiation with a unanimous 7-0 vote. He replaces Alex Richters, who was the Mavs' assistant athletic director/head coach for each of the last two seasons.

"I remember David Simpson asking me in 1993 where I see myself in 10 years, and I told him I see myself as head football coach in Marshall after Coach Bill (Harper) leaves," said Harper in a response about the school's all-time wins leader which drew laughter.

Harper's first day on the job will be on Monday.

Harper will bring back the high-intensity boot camp workout known as "Mav Maker" in April along with an NFL-style combine in May in which college coaches will be invited to watch Maverick players. Harper had 12 athletes from Leander sign in February.

There will be no spring practice this season due to a lack of preparation time, but it could be implemented in the years to come. Harper has announced one coaching hire, with offensive coordinator Brad Clark coming with him from Leander, and he'll be also be looking for a defensive coordinator in the near future when it comes to putting together his new staff.

Also on Monday, the Henderson ISD school board hired Phil Castles as head football coach and athletic director.

Castles, a native of Kilgore, comes to Henderson from Corsicana. He has an 82-48 career coaching record, with stops at Elysian Fields, Chapel Hill and Corsicana. His Corsicana teams were 30-19.

"I'm very happy to be moving back to East Texas," Castles said. "I really like the community spirit in Henderson and believe this will be a good place for me and my family."

Castles takes over for Dickey Meeks, who resigned last month to take the head coach and AD position in Pittsburg.



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