ATHENS, TX (KLTV) - The Athens Independent School District said Monday that head football coach and athletic director Paul Essary had announced his resignation effective December 31.
According to a Facebook post from the district, Essary said after nearly 10 years at Athens ISD he felt it was time for a change.
“I wanted to leave with a successful program in place,” he said. “I’m glad to have seen through the process of establishing our new and remodeled athletic facilities. I’m still excited about coaching, and if the right opportunity comes along, I feel I have plenty to offer.”
The post said Essary holds the title of “winningest” football coach at Athens High School, with more playoff wins than any other coach. This November he led the varsity football team to its first playoff berth since 2015. The Hornets, representing District 9-4A, ended the season 5-5 with a loss to Van in the first round. The junior varsity team went 6-3 this past season, and freshmen went 9-1 to win the district championship.
“I would like to thank you and Athens ISD for a very rewarding 10 years,” said Essary in his letter of resignation to Superintendent Blake Stiles. “I am proud of the success that the athletic program and football program have accomplished during my tenure.”
“We appreciate all that Coach Essary has accomplished for our athletic program over the years and certainly want the best for him as he transitions to his next chapter,” said Superintendent Stiles.
The post said the search for a new athletic director and head football coach will begin immediately.
“We feel we are in a position to be very attractive to the right person,” said Stiles.