The Holliday ISD School Board announced Alice AD and head football coach Kyle Atwood as the school’s next director of athletics. Atwood replaces retiree Frank Johnson as the next leader of the Eagles athletic program.
“First of all I would like to thank the school board for allowing me the opportunity to be here,” Atwood told the board. “The five of us are extremely fortunate to be a part of this school district and this athletic program. I know it has been a tough process for you guys. I can assure you that we will go to work and make sure our children are taken care of and are challenged and prepared in whatever we are doing.
“Every time I saw Coach Johnson retiring, I knew my family would want to go back in this direction. I grew up in the Lubbock area and my wife grew up in San Angelo. I started doing some research and during that time I kept getting exactly the same message from people, whether it was people in the Wichita Falls area or coaches who coached against Holliday, they all said the same thing: don’t you will find a better school in the state of Texas academically. You will not find better parental involvement and support. You will not find a better athletic program that is competitive in everything they do in the state of Texas. This is something that would be really good for me and my family. I threw my name in the hat and luckily it worked.”
In 11 seasons as head coach, Atwood owns a 51-64 overall record, going 15-36 at San Angelo Grape Creek from 2012-16 and 36-28 at Alice from 2017-22. He brings 16 years of coaching experience having started his career at Alice as an assistant in 2007 before moving on to San Angelo Central.
“We’ve had about 60 applications,” said Holliday Superintendent Cody Carroll. “It was the highest quality field I have ever faced in regards to candidates, as we knew it would be with the quality of work we have here at Holliday. We ended up interviewing 13 different candidates which is way too much but with the quality but we wanted to make sure we were as thorough as possible to make sure we found the right candidate. We spent about 20 hours last week going through those candidates. Once we decided Coach Atwood was the best candidate, we went to the board and had a discussion and decided he was the right person for the job.
During his five years as an assistant, Atwood served as special teams coordinator, wide catches coach, and the boys’ track and field head coach.
At Grape Creek in 2012, he led the Eagles to the first two playoff appearances in school history and a winning season, notching up a career-high six wins in his final season.
Returning to Alice in 2017, Atwood led the Coyotes to the Regional Finals in his freshman year, posting the most wins in a single season with a 9-4 record. In six seasons, he led Alice to four playoff appearances, advancing to the zone round twice.
“Obviously things are going really well here,” Atwood said. “I plan to come in and support the coaches of those other sports and make sure they have everything they need to be successful. We will do everything possible to establish some ideas of strength and conditioning.
“I will be returning to Alice tomorrow after I have had the chance to meet the guys and the staff. I have a letter of resignation drafted so its just a matter of contacting our school board to be released from my contract and get a start date here. I have a number of days off spared so I will be able to come here and be a part of that to make sure.
A native of Muleshoe, Atwood graduated from Texas Tech with a BA in Kinesiology. He also served as a four-year letterman on the track and field team where he was a five-time Big XII all-round winner and part of the 2005 Big XII championship team.
His wife holds a doctorate in counseling and serves as a professor for Angelo State. They have three children, Kenli (15), Keegan (9) and Payton (7).
“My family and I are extremely excited and happy to be here and to be a part of this school district. We know some great things are to come. We are ready to get to work.”
This is a developing story, stay tuned to Archer County News for more.