Pat Collins Steps Down As Longview Football Coach - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/21/04 - Longview

Pat Collins Steps Down As Longview Football Coach

It's the end of an era for an East Texas High School Head Football Coach. After 40 years of coaching, Longview's Pat Collins has decided to "pass the torch", in favor of a full- time job as athletic director. The decision comes just weeks after Collins turned down a head coaching job in Louisiana to stay at Longview. As it turns out, that desire to stay in Longview centered on directing the entire athletic department.

While he's been the head football coach in Longview for only four years, Coach Collins has made quite an impression. The Louisiana native took Texas by storm, returning a once proud program to elite status. He did so with big wins, knocking off the likes of Midland Lee, and Shreveport Evangel, while taking the Lobos to the playoffs the past three years. He also did so by holding his players accountable, not just on the field, but in the classroom as well, installing a "no pass, no play" program. After first approaching Superintendent Dr. Dana Marable last year with the idea, the 62-year-old has now decided to pass that legacy on to someone else.

"There comes a time when you've done this for 40 years, where it's time to say well, do I want and try to do one more year, or two more years or whatever," said Collins. "I just felt like the timing was right. There's just so many things to do here. There's just so many things going on in the athletic program."

So, by a 5-1 vote Monday night, the Longview school board voted to accept Superintendent Marable's recommendation, that Coach Collins move full time into the athletic directors job. And to appease Collins' desire not to pursue a Texas athletic director certification, they changed his title to Director of Extra Curricular Activities. But, Coach Collins was quick to add, "there's one thing that hasn't changed, and that's who's in charge, and that's still me."

Coach Collins says he has recommended Longview Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator John King be promoted to head coach. Longview ISD has a school board meeting scheduled for next Wednesday. And, while the agenda as yet to be set, Coach Collins feels the head football position will be discussed at that meeting.

Kevin Berns reporting.

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