Despite more than a decade of success, Gunter head baseball coach Todd Hogan was reassigned from his position on Monday, just weeks after achieving a pair of career milestones produced largely out his 11 seasons leading the Tigers.
“The reason that they told me was that they wanted the program to go in another direction,” said Hogan, who has compiled a 410-117 overall record — 302-85 coming at Gunter. “I still have a job here. It hit me hard.”
Hogan met with superintendent Dr. Jill Siler in a Monday meeting he was unaware of until that morning and was informed of the reassignment that will have him continue to be a varsity football assistant but now handle junior high basketball and track.
“Every year we evaluate our programs and make changes as we see fit,” Siler said. “We look at teachers, coaches and principals. Coach Hogan has done a tremendous job for Gunter ISD. Gunter has a had a very successful history and we look forward to continuing that legacy.”
Attempts to reach athletic director Jake Fieszel were unsuccessful.
The Gunter ISD will post the position on Friday while Hogan is now looking how to continue in the sport he has coached for more than two decades.
“I’m just going to weigh all my options,” Hogan said. “That’s all I can do.”
Gunter went 25-15 this past spring and reached the region quarterfinals before a pair of one-run losses against Grandview. It was the 10th time under Hogan the Tigers reached the third round of the playoffs and comes after two straight region semifinal appearances and a 32-8 record in 2013.
Hogan won the 400th game of his career with a district victory over Leonard in late March and then reached 300 victories at Gunter when the Tigers earned the deciding win of their bi-district series against Whitesboro.
He started his head coaching career at Savoy in 1995 and then led Blue Ridge for four years. Hogan was an assistant coach at Highland Park for four years before arriving at Gunter in 2004.
Under his direction, Gunter made the playoffs 10 times in his 11 seasons — the only miss coming in 2011 when the Tigers were part of a four-way tie for the 11-2A title and became the odd team out in a mini-tournament to determine the three postseason spots. It was the first time the program missed the playoffs since 1985.
And the Tigers bounced back in a big way, repeating as district champs and getting to the region semifinals for the first time in five seasons. Hogan led Gunter to the region semifinals five times.
This past season Gunter won another district title, sharing the crown with state qualifier Sunnyvale, and notching Hogan’s 10th district title at the school.
The program has had extended success dating back nearly 30 years with seven state tournament appearances. Gunter won championships in 1994 (1A) and 1998 (2A) as well as being the 1A runner-up in 1991. The Tigers made back-to-back state tourney trips in 2000 and 2001 but that was the last time Gunter got to state.
The closest the Tigers got to that point with Hogan was in 2004 but Ponder beat Gunter, 2-0, in a one-game playoff in the region final to advance to the final four, the first of four times Gunter was eliminated by the region champion under Hogan’s watch.