HOWE — Howe will have a new athletic director and football coach after the contract of Joe Watson was not renewed.
The ISD posted the opening over the weekend to start a search that will continue until April 7. The notice says Howe would like to have a hire in place by April 27. There is no mention of previous head coaching experience in the listing, just a minimum of five years in the coaching field.
Watson had back-to-back 2-8 seasons after he was elevated from defensive coordinator in January of 2011 following Howe’s 9-2 season and first district title since 1998, the first playoff appearance in seven years and the departure of Cory Crane after his one season in charge of the Bulldogs.
In 2011 Howe tied for fifth in District 5-2A (I) but were just a game back of tying for third while the Bulldogs went winless this past season in the newly formed seven-team 6-2A (I) from the last realignment.
Watson has been a fixture in Texoma since starting his coaching career in 1989, spending all but one year in the area during that time. He has been an assistant at Blue Ridge, Celeste, Whitewright, Tom Bean and Howe over that span, with a stop as Dawson’s head coach with a 4-6 record in 2001. He was the head coach at Blue Ridge for 2006 and 2007, compiling a 6-14 mark, before becoming an assistant at Howe.
Watson’s brother, Jim, had success as a head coach at both Prosper and Whitesboro, finishing 56-50-5 between the two schools from 1976-86 and leading Prosper to a Class B undefeated district championship in 1978.
Howe is the third area team to make a change this off-season, joining Tom Bean and Whitewright. The Bulldogs are also the second 6-2A (I) program that will have a new coach. Paradise is in the middle of its search.