STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
LLANO — Newly named Llano Independent School District athletic director Matt Green plucked three Marble Falls coaches and one Burnet coach to complement his Yellow Jackets staff.
Green announced June 21 that Todd Doucet, the Burnet High School head baseball coach, will be taking the same position in Llano. From Marble Falls, Ricky Sparks, Ryan Priem, and Lowery Kemp are headed to Llano.
Green named Sparks the Jackets’ defensive line coach, Priem the assistant head football coach and offensive coordinator, and Kemp a Llano Junior High coach.
Earlier this summer, Green resigned as the Marble Falls Independent School District athletic director and head high school football coach to take those jobs in Llano.
When it came to picking his baseball coach, Green said that, once he began making calls about Doucet, he was more and more convinced he’d found the right person to lead Llano on the diamond.
“Number one is his character,” he said. “He is a man of high integrity. That matters to me. I was thrilled to hear what kind of man he was.”
Doucet guided the Bulldogs to the Class 3A Region I regional final in 2009. He left Burnet after the 2010 season for Fredericksburg, where he spent three years before moving to Lake Travis as an assistant coach. Doucet rejoined Burnet in 2014.
Burnet rehiring Doucet after a four-year absence told Green how much respect the baseball coach garnered.
“He’s seasoned. He’s a veteran coach,” Green said. “There’s probably very few scenarios he hasn’t seen or dealt with. Llano wants to be good in baseball; I want to be great in baseball. This guy shows me he knows how to do it. I’m excited about that guy.”
Sparks leaves the Mustangs after 15 years wearing purple and gold. He began as the defensive coordinator for former head coach Cord Woerner and worked for Green the past three years.
During that time, the two formed a friendship in which they shared a mutual respect and admiration. When Sparks expressed interest in changing campuses, Green listened carefully.
“He’s very appreciative of being in Marble Falls for 15 years,” Green said. “He’s ready for a change. When you do something in the same place for that long, you become stagnant. We’ve all been through a job where you’re not challenged, you’re bored, you’re complacent.”
Sparks’ youngest son, lineman Daniel Sparks, who stands 6 feet 3 inches and weighs 230 pounds, will transfer to Llano for his senior season.
Priem has spent five years with Green, starting at Lake Travis when the two guided the Cavaliers to a couple of state titles. Priem then joined Green at Lucas Lovejoy for two years and spent the past season with the head coach at Marble Falls.
“I trust him. I know what he’s about,” Green said about Priem. “It’s not just on the field that he’s a spectacular coach. He does the little things in the office that no one knows about. He’s a doer. You never have to tell him something needs to be done. He’s a great coach and a great character.”
Lowery spent last year at Marble Falls Middle School, where he impressed Green with how well he prepared the seventh-graders football players.
That team lost 28-14 to Kerrville Peterson Middle School earlier in the season, but when they met again in the final game, Marble Falls prevailed 31-0.
“I saw (the Marble Falls) team, and the offense looked like a machine,” Green said. “That doesn’t happen in the seventh grade. He’ll do the same thing for us. I’m thrilled to have him in our junior high. There are already great coaches there; he’ll make it stronger.”