Next Chapter: Jim Holley takes reins of New Caney ISD as Athletic Director
The place and the timing would need to be right, and for Holley, who spent the past five seasons as Porter High School's head football coach, and those two boxes were checked when the New Caney ISD Athletic Director role came available, which he was named to earlier this week.
"I think this is going to be the last chapter in my book, so to speak," Holley said. "I feel like I still have several years left in me. I feel at complete peace with the job and stepping away.
"Don't get me wrong, I'm going to miss those kids, those coaches, and those relationships. I'm still going to be involved with Friday Night Lights, just in another capacity. So, I'm excited about that and looking forward to that, the new challenge there, and different dynamics. It's an exciting time for me as well."
Holley takes over a district that currently has New Caney and Porter High School, with a third high school set to open in the Fall of 2022, which is currently under construction.
Building a new program from the ground up is something that Holley has experience with. In 2008, Holley was the campus coordinator and football coach at Kingwood Park in Humble ISD when it opened.
"When we opened up Kingwood Park we went through the process of hiring new coaches, staff, getting facilities ready, and getting programs their supplies and uniforms," Holley said. "It was a lot of fun. It's a lot of work but it's very enjoyable work. It's very unique because when you open a new school the principal and head coach/coordinators over those campuses you get to start new traditions and it's a very exciting time."
After spending seven seasons at Kingwood Park, Holley stepped away from coaching for one year to become the Facilities Coordinator in New Caney ISD. In 2017, he was missing the kids and got back into coaching at Porter High School as its football coach.
At Porter, Holley led the Spartans to historic new heights with five straight winning seasons and four consecutive playoff appearances. In 2019, the program won its first-ever playoff game with a 21-17 win over Fort Bend Hightower.
"I feel like I was able to finish up and enjoy that part for the last five years," Holley said about the coaching chapter of his life.
While the head coach at Porter, one of the big rivalries for the Spartans was New Caney, which at the time was led by Brady Pennintgton, who retired after the 2019 season.
"It was not a surprise to me that Jim was the choice," Pennington told VYPE in a text. "I think he will be a great hire and will serve the district well in his new role. He knows the district and the personnel there because of his involvement as the Porter head coach. He has outstanding character and will continue the high expectations that have been set for the athletic program. I am proud for Jim and have no doubt he will do an outstanding job for New Caney ISD in his new role!"
So, it is apparent that New Caney ISD is not new to Holley, having coached and worked in it for the past six years and previously working just down the road in Humble ISD.
Over the years, Holley has seen the district build a new district stadium and natatorium but his vision goes beyond just facility upgrades. It is the success of all programs and doing things the right way that is important to him, Holley said and he will do whatever he can in his new role to foster that culture.
"Obviously, everybody's goal in the State of Texas is to be the best. I think it's very important that our programs work and develop in a way that can make our district and our community proud of us," Holley said. "I would hope the state would recognize that New Caney ISD athletic programs are going to compete at a high level, with class and they're going to do things the right way. I think winning and losing is a byproduct of doing those things right. When you do good things right, I think good things happen to you."
"I love serving people and I can't wait to get behind the scenes and help support our programs, coaches, administrators, and the kids and do what I can to make those programs successful. It is my goal that every program in New Caney ISD, from top to bottom, boys, girls, and all levels become successful in everything that they do. We want to be a well-rounded program, a program that's always in that Lone Star Cup standings. We want to score lots of points in lots of different areas and sports. I look forward to helping in any way I can."