Feller Seeks Proven Winner to lead St. Pius X Football
HOUSTON – Hiring a new head football coach during the COVID-19 Pandemic can be challenging.
St. Pius X Athletic Director Jeff Feller is taking that challenge head on with social-distanced interviews through phone and Zoom calls, which has become the new norm.
Feller started the process by opening the job up – following the departure of Billy Noonan, who took a job at Dayton High School – and posted it on Texas High School Coaches Association, Texas Athletic Directors Association, TAPPS website and St. Piux X's own.
Once the application was closed, 78 coaches had applied for the opening.
The process has been whittled down to the final few candidates, who in the next week will be on campus for an in-person interview.
"We are going to try and maintain the social distancing of six feet and do our best," Feller said about the next step of the process. "We didn't feel comfortable hiring someone without meeting them first. At the same time, we want an individual to see the campus and meet us face-to-face.
"As a group we decided this was the best option."
St. Pius X has seen some turnover at the top coaching position over the past few years.
Whoever Feller and company do hire as the next coach will be the third coach in three years on campus. With that in mind, Feller has a list of boxes he wants the next guy to check.
"You want someone that's had that head-coaching experience," Feller said. "We want someone that has the proven ability to establish a strong football culture.
"So, we want someone who is proven to do that. Someone that can not only win but someone who has gone into difficult situations and has been able to turn things around and produce positive results."
Even though wins and losses are what a football program and a coach judged on, Feller said they want the next guy to bring more than just that to the table.
"We clearly want someone who has a reputation for extremely good character," he said. "We need someone that's going to lead our young men in the right direction and do the right things at the right times for the right reasons. I want a positive working relationship and they have to be able to work well with the community."
The final trait that Feller listed as a must for his next football coach – grit.
"We need someone that's going to get in there and grind, work and be flexible," Feller said. "We want to communicate and get that new hire to understand the entire dynamic of our program and school. To set them up for success but at the same time as unforeseen things happen, such as COVID-19, I want them to have the ability to overcome, adapt and achieve."