File Photo: Darryl Henson/ @dhenson2

SAN ANTONIO, TX- Newly hired head coach Eric Morris is heading to the high school ranks to fill out his coaching staff at Incarnate Word. Kyle Lehman head coach Josh Kirkland confirmed to that he would be joining the staff as assistant head coach and running backs coach with the Cardinals.

The move was first reported by the Austin American-Statesman and later by the Hays Free Press earlier this week.

“This has been a goal and a dream of mine to get in to college coaching,” Kirkland said, “Every move I’ve made has been geared towards this. When he called, it was a no-brainer.”

Kirkland spent only one season at Kyle Lehman and said he is excited for the new opportunity to join the college ranks with someone he grew up with just a short distance from each other outside of Lubbock. He credits the relationship growing up between him and Morris as a big part of why he took the job.

“I’ve known Coach Morris for a long time and have always respected him,” Kirkland said of his new head coach on Friday, “I’ve tried to learn as much as I can from him along the way.”

The move continues an accelerated rise up the coaching ladder for Kirkland, who spent one season as the head coach at El Paso Parkland prior to his arrival in Central Texas. He also spent years as an assistant coach at Daingerfield and Bryan Rudder.

For all the movement over the past two years, Kirkland acknowledged that it had not been easy. He credits his family for being a strong support system.

“My wife is unbelievable,” Kirkland said, “I’ve moved her all over the country and she’s been excited to move along with me every step of the way.”

Despite only arriving at Lehman in May, Kirkland is most proud of laying the foundation of changing the culture within the Lobo program. Despite the team’s 1-9 record in 2017, Kirkland is confident that whoever comes in as the next head coach will have the tools in place to have success.

“They’ve got 19 returning starters next year and they’ll be really good,” Kirkland said of Lehman, “The coaching staff will be there. The district as a whole are 100 percent behind Lehman and I have no doubt that whoever comes in next will have a lot of success.”

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