El Paso Parkland head coach Josh Kirkland is heading to Central Texas. TexasHSFootball.com confirmed earlier reports that Kirkland was leaving to take over as the head coach of Kyle Lehman in the Austin area. Kirkland confirmed the news via Twitter Thursday morning as did Hays Consolidated ISD.
— Josh Kirkland (@NMHUCoachKirk) May 4, 2017
“It was such a difficult decision. I love Parkland and I love El Paso and I was given an opportunity at Lehman and I’m excited to get started there,” Kirkland said, “I think Parkland’s in a good place and I think they’ll continue to build off the success we had last year because of the great kids there.”
Kirkland leaves Parkland after just 16 months as the head coach of the Matadors. In his lone season, he led the Matadors to an 8-4 record and a bi-district championship in Class 5A Division II.
Defensive coordinator Eric Frontz will be the interim head coach of the Matadors. As his time in El Paso is over, Kirkland says he’ll have fond memories from the city where he got his first opportunity as a head coach.
“I loved the kids and loved the community here in El Paso,” Kirland says, “As someone who didn’t know much about the city and coming out here, the city has a lot to offer. There’s some great football out here. It’s a hidden thing being so far away and the first things that will come out of my mouth talking to people about El Paso is how great the city is and how hard they play.”
As for his new job at Kyle Lehman, Kirkland takes over a program that has never made the postseason in their 11 year history. He takes over for Todd Raymond, who was hired by Pflugerville ISD as their athletic director back in March. It was a process that came and went fairly quickly but Kirkland is excited and ready for this latest opportunity.
“I’m just excited to get the Lehman and do the same thing we did at Parkland and that is putting the kids in the right spot,” Kirkland said, “I need to get there and meet the kids so we can get started. It’s a step forward for me and my family and it’s a great opportunity to compete with some of the best teams in the state every week.”
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