JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — Former Faith Academy of Marble Falls head football coach Russ Roberts has been named the new athletic director at First Baptist Christian School.
Roberts announced his hire July 23.
Though he will be the athletic director, Roberts still plans on being the Faith Academy Junior High football coach, a commitment he made to the academy, its players and parents.
Roberts considers his commitment to Faith and to First Baptist Christian School of Marble Falls a blessing. Eighth grade is the top grade at FBCS. In the past, Faith has welcomed FBCS athletes to its junior high football team, which is allowed by the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.
“Faith needs more players, and (FBCS athletes) need a place to play,” Roberts said.
Roberts will replace Kelly Kirkpatrick, who took a pastor’s position at a church in Missouri. Roberts had thought about applying for the position before, so when it opened back up, he again contemplated applying. A phone call from a friend, who also attends church with Roberts, convinced the coach it was time to get back in sports administration.
“It’s your field, this is what you do,” he recalled his friend saying.
Roberts admitted that during his years in sports administration, the administrative duties weren’t among his favorite when compared to working directly with young athletes. So when he took over as the Faith Academy head football and track coach, he was happy to simply be able to focus on game plans, breaking down film and building rapport with his players. But Faith also made him appreciate the sports administrative side again, which makes him look forward to his next step.
After making the decision to pursue the FBCS position, Roberts reached out to Sandra Phelps, the school’s headmaster and principal, to inquire about the position, give a little of his background, and find out what the school needs from the athletic director.
Roberts will work in a part-time capacity at FBCS, which saves the school a little money and allows him to honor his commitment to Faith Academy.
One of his top priorities is to get more FBCS students playing sports.
It also means putting back on his administrative hat as well.
“I hope to be looking for someone to coach our volleyball team,” Roberts said. “(Hiring coaches is) something I haven’t dealt with in seven or eight years.”