STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
LLANO — New Llano Junior High School coach Kemp Lowery is adding another duty to his 2017-18 school year – interim head softball coach at the high school.
Llano Independent School District athletic director Matt Green approached Lowery about taking the job for one season in anticipation of posting the job again in March.
Green, who was named the Yellow Jackets leader in June, noted the softball head coaching job had been posted during the school year but hadn’t been filled. So with a change at athletics director coupled with the timing of the change during the summer, he anticipated coaches who would have applied for the position had decided not to.
“It’s difficult given our application pool,” Green said. “We’re not able to find candidates that offered a long-term solution for Llano. Rather than force a hire, we weren’t going to take a gamble and hope that’ll work out.”
Lowery brings plenty of diamond experience, including serving as the Dublin High School head softball coach.
Lowery posted a 55-30 overall record in four years at Dublin.
He said he’d always been a baseball guy but got to know the softball players as the assistant baseball coach at Dublin thanks to his classroom duties.
“I saw their work ethic, and they’d been fun to be around,” he said.
Lowery decided coaching softball also helped him as a coach.
“I wanted to be well-rounded and be the coach of my own team,” he said. “I enjoyed my time as a softball coach. I learned a lot about those girls.”
He spent two years as the head baseball coach at Frankston High School and posted a 35-13 record with two playoff appearances.
Green hired Lowery earlier this summer for the junior high program, but when Green came back to him about the softball job, Lowery couldn’t refuse.
“We’re trying to do what’s best for the program,” Lowery said. “This is going to be my team for this year. I’m working real hard to do the best for them and do right by those girls and see what we can accomplish.”
“He saw the need for our girls and how they needed somebody to give them stability,” Green said. “He’s the strongest candidate with his flexibility and desire to help. It’s a service profession; he was willing to say, ‘I’m willing’ and happy to serve the young ladies of Llano to allow administration to find the best fit.”