It's been a big 24 hours for Tyler I.S.D. First the district names an interim superintendent, and on Tuesday it introduced its new athletic director for the third time in four years.
"When Greg came in, everyone was impressed, and blown away," Board representative Wade Washmon said. "The cream rose to the top."
After spending more than a decade at Baylor as the head golf coach, Greg Priest made a difficult decision to pursue another career opportunity. "It was tough, I really enjoyed my time in college athletics, but the main thing it came down to was family," Priest said.
Taking over for Rod Kaspar, the new Tyler I.S.D. athletic director brings a unique background coming from the Big 12. "We want Tyler to go to the next level, so it made sense to bring somebody from the next level," Washmon said. Priest added,"It is an exciting time and this will be a unique experience for me. "Its going to be a learning curve for me."
If Tyler I.S.D. wanted a winner, it got one. Priest was a two time national championship golf coach at TJC, and led Baylor to 11 straight regional appearances. "Winning brings the community together, and it brings the school the athletes together," Priest said. "It makes everything exciting." Washmon added, "You've had to experience success in order to achieve a lot of times, and we feel like he's got it."
Juggling a 6A school in Tyler Lee and a 5A program in John Tyler makes this challenging. But the East Texas native is already working on filling needs at both schools. "You've got to get them what they need to be successful and if you don't then you are fighting up-hill battles," Priest said.
Priest continued to say, "I've got to make decisions on what I feel like I can take to the board and to the superintendent. We then put a game plan together and see how we can raise the bar at everything we are doing."