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Marble Falls assistant heading to Willis High School as defensive coordinator

JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

MARBLE FALLS — Marble Falls High School assistant football coach Ryan Gentry accepted a position as the defensive coordinator at Willis High School on Feb. 13.

PHOTO: Marble Falls Independent School District Superintendent Rob O’Connor (left) and Ryan Gentry wait to be introduced to guests at the Mustangs’ Tailgate Party on July 28. Gentry, who was an assistant football coach at Marble Falls, has accepted the defensive coordinator’s position at Willis High School. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Gentry, who served as the Mustangs’ defensive backs coach, starts his new position at the school, which is located north of Conroe, on Feb. 18. In all, he spent six years at Marble Falls.

“My family has thoroughly enjoyed being here,” he said. “Marble Falls has been wonderful. It’s been a great experience. I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Gentry said he wasn’t looking to leave, but Marble Falls offensive coordinator Bill Poe recommended him for the job at Willis. Poe worked with Willis head coach Audie Jackson, who called in early December wanting to know if the Mustang coach knew of a possible defensive coordinator candidate. Poe recommended Gentry.

Gentry’s next step was to talk to Mustangs head football coach and athletic director Todd Dodge.

“He obviously gave his blessing and wanted to help in whatever I wanted to do,” Gentry said.

But since Gentry was a boys basketball assistant coach, he couldn’t get to Willis until the Christmas holiday. Once the spring semester started, Gentry accepted the position.

The reason he is starting at Willis is because Jackson wants Gentry to begin installing the defensive schemes before the Wildkats begin spring football in a few months.

Gentry will oversee three In-School Suspension periods and will be responsible for ensuring players are passing academically. In addition, he will be the college liaison in charge of getting film to college football programs of Wildkats who want to play on the next level. The position also involves coordinating college night and being available to speak to college coaches on behalf of the Willis program.

Before coming to Marble Falls, Gentry coached at Early for a year and at Athens for three years. He learned so much at Marble Falls that “it’s hard to pinpoint it.”

He thanked former head coach Cord Woerner “for allowing me to do a lot of things in our program. He let me do some administrative things.”

And he praised Dodge for sharing his knowledge of the sport and how he led an athletic department.

jfierro@thepicayune.com