Tom Petty once sang that “waiting is the hardest part”. For Eric Frontz, the last 49 days had been a waiting game after former head coach Josh Kirkland left El Paso to take the head coaching job at Kyle Lehman. After having the interim tag removed and being officially the head coach of the Matadors on Thursday, there is a sense of relief.
“I’m extremely excited but this has been the longest month of my life,” Frontz said following his introduction, “These kids deserve stability and a year to grow in the system and that’s something that I bring to the table.”
The former defensive coordinator officially takes over a program that started heading in the right direction. The Matadors finished 8-4 and won their first playoff game since 2009 with a bi-district win over El Paso Bowie. Even with a defensive mind taking over, Frontz is optimistic in his team’s ability to keep the positive direction going.
“I definitely feel like we should be better. I think we’ll be better in year two of the system. The kids understand the system and even with the talent that we lost from last year, the kids are coming into this season with the mentality of being better than we were last year.”
His players are also excited to have the head coaching search behind them and are also happy that they get to work with a familiar face.
“He’s very passionate and a hard worker,” running back Deion Hankins said, “With all the experience that he brings and since he knows us, I think he’s the right person for the job.”
“It feels great since we know him,” quarterback A.J. Briggs said, “having that stability is really going to help us since he really pushes us.”
This isn’t the first go-round as a head coach for Frontz. He was the head coach at El Paso Riverside from 2010 to 2015 and moved over to Parkland as a defensive coordinator last season. Now with the coaching search over, Frontz is ready to get to work.
“We have a great staff and I’m really excited about the things that have come together during the spring. It’s definitely an exciting time.”
The Matadors open their 2017 season at home on September 1 against El Paso Jefferson.
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