STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
The Burnet High School volleyball team has a new head coach, and the school district didn’t have to look far to find her.
Officials hired Crystal Shipley, a Burnet Middle School coach who has been with Burnet Consolidated Independent School District for 14 years.
The district finalized her hire May 29.
Other recent hires are boys basketball assistant coach Anthony “A.J.” Irwin and assistant football coach Tyler McIntosh.
The athletics department had hired former Burnet High School running coach Casey Schubert to be its head volleyball coach but a change of heart by Schubert forced officials to keep looking.
Girls athletics coordinator Rick Gates said Shipley’s knowledge of the program and the community put her résumè at the top of the stack.
“She does a great job of building relationships with her classroom students and her student-athletes,” he said.
A decade in the school district illustrates her commitment, Gates added. The volleyball program now marks its third coach in three years.
“We want to build that continuity,” Gates said. “I know how important it is for continuity and stability. It’s so hard to learn a new system and a new person year after year and meet your full potential each season.”
Gates noted the players and Shipley will have to adjust to each other since they’re in different roles. The former middle school coach will have more authority in her new position, and the players are now high school athletes with more experience. But the familiarity and comfort between players and coach will make that adjustment go more smoothly, Gates said.
“Coach Shipley understands we have talent,” he said. “She was excited to be offered the position. She knows there are some talented ladies there who are going to love playing for her. I haven’t heard anything but positive things about her and how excited the girls are to play for her again.”
Shipley will also coach high school girls track and field in the spring.
Tyler McIntosh is the new offensive line coach, taking the place of Eddy Parker, who has decided to just teach agriculture.
“He’s on fire for this position and for kids,” said head football coach Jerod Rye about McIntosh. “He grew up in San Saba, and he grew up playing sports. I think he’s instantly relatable to the kids he’s going to coach. It’s a group of five guys who play as one and all buy into what their coach is saying. They’ve got to love each other.”
McIntosh joins offensive coordinator Matt DeBerry and defensive backs coach Cory Warner on the 2019 staff. The two were hired weeks earlier.
Boys head basketball coach Roy Kiser said Anthony Irwin will make a great addition to his staff because of his knowledge of running a program. Irwin, a Gonzales High School graduate, was the head boys basketball coach at his alma mater the past two years with a 10-59 overall record.
“I think his personality is contagious,” Kiser said. “He’s a high-energy guy. I like that about him. I like the fact that he tried the head coaching thing. We’ll be able to have that perspective from the assistant’s role.”