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JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER

MARBLE FALLS — Though it’s been in the works for some time, Randy Denton has officially taken over as the athletic director at Faith Academy of Marble Falls.

Former athletic director Jessie Crow retired, effective June 1, after four years of service to the academy.

Denton also served as the head football and boys basketball coaches and assisted in other sports when needed.

The academy’s board of trustees wants Denton to be the head coach of only one sport. But since he spent a decade coaching a summer girls basketball team, his preference is to find a new head football coach. He said he is in conversations about that.

“I’m not going to turn over football until we find the right candidate,” he said.

He said the ideal candidate is someone who is retired or who isn’t dependent on a full-time job to support a family.

But, he pointed out, it’s possible and used the examples of volleyball coach Christi Adams, girls basketball coach Jerry English and former football coach Russ Roberts as individuals who retired from teaching public schools and wanted to remain involved in athletics.

“We need another coach Roberts-type guy who is willing to take over the program and be in charge of it,” Denton said.

His first hire was that of Stephen Shipley, father of former student Hanner Shipley and younger brother of Bob Shipley, the former athletic director and head football coach at Burnet who is now at Belton.

Stephen Shipley will be the offensive coordinator and will coach the quarterbacks and receivers, though he is considered a part-time employee. Shipley was a receiver at Texas Christian University in the 1980s.

Shipley is coaching Faith’s 7-on-7 football team, which is allowed by the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.

Denton and Shipley were classmates when two were at Burnet High School. Shipley approached Denton about helping the Flames several months ago.

Boys basketball assistant coach Zakk Revelle is the new chaplain with the academy, Denton said, and will continue coaching basketball and perform other tasks as needed.

As for facilities, the academy is hoping to have a new weight room located next to The Fire Pit gymnasium complete by mid-August and basketball locker room finished by the start of basketball season.

The plan is to keep the football locker room right where it is, next to the practice field and athletic office. Denton noted it has showers and an air conditioner, so it fits the needs of the team.

As for the varsity football team, home games will still be played at Pony Stadium on the Marble Falls Middle School campus, 1511 Pony Circle Drive. The first game of the 2016 season is against Centerpoint at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 26.

Crow said Denton was hired last year with the intention of taking over the department when he stepped down.

“I have nothing but good feelings,” he said. “We wish Randy the best and Faith Academy the best.”

Denton praised Crow for organizing the department and adding some procedures that are still in effect.

Besides Crow retiring, his wife, Becky, who served as the department’s administrative assistant, also left. So Denton is in the process of hiring for that position.

jfierro@thepicayune.com