Categorized | Football, Sports

Marble Falls head football coach Mike Birdwell resigns

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

Marble Falls High School head football coach Mike Birdwell (standing, middle) announced his resignation March 11 via social media. He is pictured here with players Sam May (standing, left) and Josh Whitecotton and Elijah Todd (kneeling, left), Glenn Thomas, and Dillon Mayberry. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Marble Falls High School head football coach Mike Birdwell (standing, middle) announced his resignation March 11 via social media. He is pictured here with players Sam May (standing, left) and Josh Whitecotton and Elijah Todd (kneeling, left), Glenn Thomas, and Dillon Mayberry. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Marble Falls High School head football coach and boys athletic coordinator Mike Birdwell has resigned, announcing his decision March 11 via Twitter.

The search for the next coach begins immediately, according to Marble Falls Independent School District Superintendent Chris Allen.

“We’re going to involve various staff members and community stakeholders (in the search for a new coach),” he said. “I don’t feel like my opinion is the sole opinion. I feel like we have a smart community and will involve multiple voices. And we’ve done well when we’ve involved others.”

Birdwell held the two positions during the 2018-19 school year after serving as interim athletic director and head football coach during the 2017-18 school year.

The Mustangs were 8-12 during the two years Birdwell was the head coach, going 3-7 in 2017 and 5-5 in 2018. Last year, the Mustangs beat Burnet for the first time since 2013 and won their last three games of the season.

Birdwell said this decision was his to make and no one at the administration level asked him to leave, noting the core of the football staff has been together for the past five years.

“You never know the twists and turns,” he said. “I had complete support from upper administration. Moving forward for all parties, Marble Falls ISD will focus their efforts in getting a replacement they feel is the best fit in this community.”

While he is looking for his next job, he said he plans to help out as long as he’s needed.

“The Lord works in mysterious ways,” he said. “Whenever one door closes, another door opens. I don’t have anything lined up for the future. (Resigning) allows me to explore those opportunities to reach out and branch out.”

His wife, Highland Lakes Elementary School Principal Bethany Birdwell, has not left her position, he said.

“My wife is in love with Highland Lakes Elementary and those kids,” he said. “She is completely one hundred percent committed. She does a great job, and we’re proud of her and the work she does.”

Birdwell had already lost one member of his staff when defensive coordinator Chad Bishop resigned in January. Birdwell said he had interviewed several top-notch candidates for the job but hadn’t made a hire yet.

He has not announced the dates of spring football either and wasn’t sure the Mustangs would undergo the drills. The reason is because Birdwell wanted to be fair to the program. According to University Interscholastic League rules, Class 5A and 6A programs that take part in spring football must give up the first week of fall training camp in August. Birdwell didn’t want to put the Mustangs through spring football and take that valuable first week away from the new coach, who would want that time to install a new offense and defense, he said. 

Birdwell leaves Marble Falls with plenty of happy memories and without regret, he said. 

Top of the list are the number of football players in the program with about 175 at Marble Falls Middle School, the 2018 freshman squad that finished 8-1 during the season, and senior quarterback Andrew Stripling accepting a scholarship to play at Abilene Christian University. He also noted the number of athletes who are playing more than one sport and those who are taking care of business in the classroom.

“On behalf of the coaches, we couldn’t be more proud,” he said. “My family and I have rooted ourselves in the community and given everything we can. It’s been an honor to serve as the head football coach and boys coordinator. There’s a bigger power that’s working here, and we’re trying to be obedient.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

7 Responses to “Marble Falls head football coach Mike Birdwell resigns”

  1. Who want to win?s says:

    Chris Allen’s first phone call should be to Art Briles.

  2. Lane Bowen says:

    I for one feel this has the potential to be a positive change. Quality athletic programs start with the development of the Middle School. This occurs from leadership at the top. In my mind this has not been the case in Marble Falls for many years. I feel Art Briles was treated very unfairly at Baylor. Coach Briles is a local resident and may want to coach again. Dr. Allen, Coach Briles may be the perfect person to restore a competitive atmosphere to the Marble Falls Athletic program. Please consider giving Mr. Briles a call. I think you would find that you would have he communities support.

  3. S says:

    Will be interesting if Marble Falls sticks with the Spread Offense that has offered little success with various coaches and talent levels for the Mustangs

  4. Ralph says:

    Sorry but Briles won’t give it a thought. The program is fine. Parents need to parent, encourage and be involved with their kids. The student athlete needs to be coachable, give it their best, be committed, and not act entitled. Point a finger all you want, but check your child first.

    • MFM says:

      I agree Ralph, Liberty Hill has buy in from the parents and the kids. They are good at everything and it won’t change when they go to 5A, their teams prove it when they beat 5A and 6A programs regularly in all sports.
      They have dominated the Statesman’s Bazelle Cup every year it has been awarded, beating out Westlake and Lake Travis by a long shot, they will dominate it again this year.

  5. No name says:

    I agree 100% with Ralph’s comment above. Thank you Coach for your involvement in our kids and community.

  6. Fox says:

    I think it’s safe to assume the leadership at the top (Supt Allen) is clearly not competent at retaining quality coaches and that is a major problem. Is he difficult to work with? Is he arrogant? Is he a liar? Possibly all 3?
    In his tenure (4 years) here are some concerning facts:
    3 different ADs
    3 different head football coaches with new hire coming
    That’s alarming considering he is in charge at the top. Quality Supts can manage and retain leaders, but that’s not happening in MFISD. WHY? That’s not the end though:
    3 head volleyball coaches
    2 head girls basketball coaches
    2 head softball coaches
    2 head baseball coaches
    2 head girls soccer coaches
    All of this in less than 4 years? Disfunctional and I’m sorry to say, but the buck stops at the top with Allen.
    Which coaches will leave from now until school ends?
    Boys basketball ?
    Softball ?
    Baseball ?
    Boys Track
    Girls Basketball?? – investigations currently into UIL violations by head coach
    This all needs to be researched and questions need to be asked to determine why this has happened. It’s outrageous and there are reasons for it. No school suffers this much turnover for no good reason.
    Why is Mike Birdwell leaving when he beat Burnet, won 5 games, freshmen won district, he’s been here 5 years, has a high school aged daughter, wife works in the district? This makes NO sense. We must ask some questions or we will have another new football coach in a year from now.

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