Burnet CISD makes changes at head football coach, other district positions

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Kurt Jones will be turning over head football coaching duties to assistant Jerod Rye effective January 2019. Jones will remain the athletic director as well as take on new responsibilities. Courtesy photo

Kurt Jones will be turning over head football coaching duties to assistant Jerod Rye effective January 2019. Jones will remain the athletic director as well as take on new responsibilities. Courtesy photo

Burnet Consolidated Independent School District officials unveiled sweeping changes in its administrative department Dec. 10, including at head football coach.

In a letter to parents, BCISD Superintendent Keith McBurnett outlined the changes, which included naming Burnet High School football offensive coordinator Jerod Rye as the new head coach, while former head coach Kurt Jones remains the athletic director. Jones will also handle some additional responsibilities.

But the changes aren’t just in the athletic department.

McBurnett said the district is cutting two curriculum and instruction senior leadership positions and replacing them with an assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. BCISD is also adding elementary curriculum and secondary curriculum coordinators to support the campuses.

Two other new positions include elementary instructional and secondary instructional coaches.

Officials aim to have the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction in place by the spring with the other positions filled in August 2019. The coaching change, however, goes into effect January 2019.

Over the past year, BCISD has earned five state championships in University Interscholastic League Social Studies, UIL Current Issues and Events, FFA Wildlife, FFA Forage, and UIL 110-meter hurdles. McBurnett added that the Esprit de Corps, consisting of the band and Highlandettes dance squad, placed 18th this year in the UIL State Marching Competition out of 165 4A bands from across Texas.

In his letter to parents, McBurnett cited these successes and the district’s commitment to continued improvements across academics and extracurricular activities as reasons for the changes to the administrative department.

The district has also set a goal of winning the Lone Star Cup, which the UIL awards each year to a high school in each of the 1A-6A classifications. The UIL awards the cup based on points a high school earns from team success at the district and state levels. A high school can accumulate points in athletic, academic, and fine arts team competitions.

McBurnett stated in the letter that, after studying successful athletic programs across the state, one thing that stuck out was those districts often separated the athletic director position from the head football coach.

“I believe separating the athletic director/head football coach into two positions — which is the standard today in 5A and 6A athletic programs — is a trend that we will see going forward in 4A athletic programs,” McBurnett wrote in the letter, “and, with this move, BCISD will be ahead of that trend.”

During Jones’s tenure as athletic director the past seven years, while also serving as head football coach, every Burnet High School team has, at some point, advanced to the playoffs.

While Jones will continue to lead the athletic department, his role will also include coordinating school safety and emergency planning, cheerleading, physical education, stadium management, facilities rentals, and the BCISD School Health Advisory Council.

Rick Gates will continue to serve as the BCISD girls athletic coordinator.

“This investment of significant resources in the area of curriculum and athletics and the district’s historical strong financial support of the fine arts program are all indicators of our desire to be the very best in everything we do by providing unprecedented levels of support for our staff and students to achieve at the highest level possible,” McBurnett added in the letter.

Read the full letter here.

editor@thepicayune.com

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