JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — Faith Academy of Marble Falls is looking for a new head football coach following the resignation of Stephen Shipley.
The academy announced April 13 that Shipley had resigned as the head football coach.
Shipley cited personal reasons and time commitment for his resignation.
“I loved coaching (the Flames),” he said. “The hardest thing for me was to walk away from the kids. Because those kids put in so much time and hard work. So the hardest thing for me leaving was the kids. That’s why I (coached them) in the first place.”
Shipley, who is the father of former Faith standout Hanner Shipley, took over the program last summer after he served as the 7-on-7 coach. At first, he was named the offensive coordinator but became the head coach when Faith Academy’s board of trustees asked athletics director Randy Denton, who was the head football coach at the time, to serve as head coach for only one sport.
Denton had served as the head coach of as many as three sports during the 2015-2016 school year, and the board didn’t want to overload him.
“We thank coach Shipley for what he has done for Faith Academy and our football program,” Denton said. “We wish him and his family well in his new job. We have begun the job search for his replacement.”
In Shipley’s only year as the head coach, the Flames finished 4-6 overall and 2-3 in Division III District 4 play. Faith was one win away from qualifying for the playoffs.
Denton and Shipley both said neither expected a resignation after one year. During the offseason, Shipley obtained his real estate license and changed careers to better provide for his family.
“When I took the (Faith) job, I could see myself being there for many years, not knowing the opportunity was coming to take better care of my family,” he said. “I couldn’t pass it up. If money wasn’t an object, I’d be at Faith all the time for free.”
Denton noted the makeup of the athletics department, where many of the coaches work part time, makes it difficult for those who have full-time employment elsewhere.
“We were hoping to have coach Shipley here to lend stability to the program,” Denton said. “With all he has going on, he didn’t feel like he had the time. He didn’t want to short-change the kids.”
The athletics director added the he hopes “it’s not permanent” that Shipley is no longer part of the department.
“We’re moving forward,” Denton said. “We have some good candidates, and we’ll start the interview process next week.”
Shipley said coaching at Faith Academy requires a rare fit since it is a part-time job.
“It’s hard to find the right person to be successful and put in the time that’s needed and the kids deserve,” he said. “That’s a hard position to be in. It’s hard to find someone retired who wants to build a program. It’s a unique situation to be in.”
Denton added he hopes to announce the new girls head basketball coach next week. Faith Academy parted ways with Jerry English on April 5. English has served as the girls basketball coach since 2004.
Currently, Denton has job offers to junior high and varsity assistant coaches for the girls basketball coach.
“We’ve made offers, and we want them accept or decline,” he said.