Two weeks have passed since Rusty Purser made the official announcement he was stepping down as the Borger Athletic Director and Head Football Coach in order to take the same positions at Taylor ISD near Austin.
During that time, Borger ISD Superintendent Chance Welch said as of Thursday, May 3rd, the school district had received around 45 applicants expressing interest in the Borger AD and Head Football positions, with interviews tentatively to start taking place next week starting on Monday, May 14th.
At this time, there have been no names mentioned as part of the 45 applicants or if the school district will focus internally or outside the program to fill the positions.
At this point it would make plenty of sense if Borger ISD looked to fill the positions internally, due to the lack of time an outside coach would have to get to know the players and establish an offseason program before school is out for the summer. Hiring from within would also allow the Bulldog football program to run many of the same systems that were successful in the three years Purser led the program.
If the Bulldogs were to look internally, the three likely candidates appear to be Offensive Coordinator Antonio Murga, Defensive Coordinator James Day, and possibly assistant coach Roy Cash.
Murga and Day have ran successful offensive and defensive units and have the experience to make the move to the head coaching position. Even though he has only spent one year in the Bulldogs program Cash spent time as the head coach in Claude.
If the school district does look within, the question becomes, could the Athletic Director position be filled separate from the head coaching job? If that were the case, the school district could explore the possibility of promoting longtime Borger Coach Leslie Young, who has served as Assistant Athletic Director for many years.
With three straight district football titles, it is easy to assume the head coaching position for the Bulldogs attracted several qualified coaches from around the state.
Of Panhandle area coaches, a wish list of candidates would include Wade Williams of Wellington, David Wood of Muleshoe, Eddie Metcalf of Stratford, and Chris Koetting of Canadian. However, there is a reason it is called a wish list because all four coaches should have impressive teams in 2012, which would make the move to Borger seem unlikely.
At a quick glance of area coaches, names which could make some sense include Brandon Smith of Wheeler, Cody Chisum of Childress, and Michael Prokop of Farwell.
Prokop had a solid career at Texico, N.M. prior to joining the Steers and is rumored to have been a finalists for the Borger job three years ago. Smith has posted a 40-26 record in his time at Wheeler, while Chisum led Childress to the playoffs last season in one of the toughest districts in the state of Texas and expects to have a team that could challenge for a district title in 2012.
Locally Sanford-Fritch Head Coach Rick Ware and West Texas High Coach Keith Hardin have the resumes that are worthy of being looked at. But both coaches seems content in their positions leading the Eagles and Comanches.
One thing to remember is when Borger ISD hired Purser in 2009, he was not a known coach from the area and didn’t have Texas Panhandle roots. Prior to Purser, Tim Anuskiewicz came to Borger after serving as an assistant coach at Midland High School. So as Bulldog fans search the Internet trying to figure out who Borger ISD might bring in for an interview, history has shown the people brought in will not necessarily come from the Panhandle area or names most fans will have heard of.
The Bulldogs will lose several playmakers on both sides of the ball from the 2011 team. But the varsity team returns several quality players, including all of its offensive line, several defensive linemen, and its starting quarterback to go along with a promising group of underclassmen coming up.
The Bulldogs will have one of the toughest nondistrict schedules in the area. But thanks to every other team in District 1-3A having to replace several pieces from their 2011 teams, the Bulldogs should be able to compete for another district title regardless of the coaching change in 2012.
Over the next couple of weeks, it will be interesting to see what direction Borger ISD chooses to go with the Athletic Director and Head Football Coach positions.
Regardless who gets the new titles, they can rest assured the people in Borger will be ready to wear their red and white to cheer on the Bulldogs in Bulldog Stadium come late August.