Denton Ryan defensive coordinator Shane Tolleson, an assistant at Ryan for nearly a decade, will head south to be the next head football coach at Waxahachie, he confirmed to The Dallas Morning News. The hire was approved by the Waxahachie ISD school board on Monday night.
Tolleson said had opportunities to leave before this year, and was even close to taking another job before, but elected to stay with the Raiders. After winning a state championship, however, and after finding the right job, the timing is right to move on, he said.
“When you’re at a place like Ryan, you never really look up because you know you’re in a good spot,” Tolleson said. “But when Waxahachie opened, it caught my eye in a big way, and God put it in my heart that this was the one.
“You don’t leave Ryan for any job, but you do leave it for a job like Waxahachie, and that community, and those kids, and those towns, and the pride and tradition I plan on revamping.”
Tolleson will take over for Todd Alexander, who stepped down on Jan. 7 after three seasons as the school’s head coach. Waxahachie made the playoffs this past season, but lost in the first round to Temple, 38-0.
Tolleson has 19 years of coaching experience, including nine at the collegiate level. He spent one season as an assistant at Haltom before joining Ryan.
“When looking for a head coach, we sought people who not only have the ability to win games, but to make an impact on the lives of our students,” Greg Reed, Waxahachie ISD’s athletic director, said in a statement. “We believe Coach Tolleson has the ability to take our football program to the next level.”
Tolleson has been the school’s defensive coordinator since 2014. In that time, Ryan had a record of 90-10. That includes this year’s state championship over Cedar Park, the first state title victory at Denton Ryan since 2002. This past season Ryan’s defense – a group that included a plethora of stars, including All-Area Defensive Player of the Year Ty Marsh – allowed an average of just over 15 points per game.
Tolleson’s enjoyment at Ryan went beyond the on-field success, he said.
“In my time at Ryan I worked for one of the best administrations in the country,” Tolleson said. “With Superintendent Dr. Jamie Wilson, Athletic Director Joey Florence, [Ryan] Principal Vernon Reeves, head football coach Dave Henigan, it was an amazing ride, and the relationships I built there were unbelievable.”
Now Tolleson will head to Waxahachie for his first head coaching job. It’s a new challenge, but he believes the timing is right to take it on.
“I’m excited about it,” Tolleson said. “I’m scared at the same time, but I feel like at the end of the day if you do kids right, coach them hard, and put them in position to win, everything else will take care of itself.”
— to www.dallasnews.com