By BRYAN URBACH
After three years of coaching and being athletic director the Westwood Panthers, Roger Mays has been reassigned.
In his first year at Westwood, Mays came into an interesting situation. The previous coach went 0-6 before being reassigned and Mays was brought in to clean up the mess. The Panthers were desperate for a better year the next season after the 0-10 record that season.
With Mays being named head coach and Athletic Director officially in November of 2010, the Panthers and Westwood fans got a more exciting football with a slightly better margin of a 3-7 record the next two years, but then that dropped off with this year’s 1-9 record. After the continued years of the Panthers struggling, Westwood ISD Superintendent Dr. Ed Lyman said change may just be what this team needs.
“We are making a transition,” Lyman told the Herald-Press on Thursday. “We will start advertising for the position probably starting Friday. We’ll post the position for athletic director and head football coach.”
Every week this season, Mays preached that hard work and experience would eventually pay off for the Panthers. The Panthers’ hard work definitely showed in a few games this season, for even though the Panthers had just the one win, there were games where they were in it till the end.
Take the last game of this season as a prime example of this as the Panthers led Crockett 14-12 at halftime. Everything was looking up for the Panthers as they were trying to win their second game of the season. Then, in the second half, the Panthers just weren’t able to hold off Crockett’s attack and lost, 29-14.
“Right now, he’s still under contract and where Mr. Mays goes from here is up to him. He’ll have a contract with us next year if he wants to stay with us,” Lyman said. “He’s a math teacher, and we always need math teachers. If he does have coaching duties next year, that will depend on the new Athletic Director/Head football coach.”
Lyman spoke nothing but praises of Mays and said he hopes that Mays can continue his career at Westwood when everything is said and done.
“Coach Mays has been a good example for the young men, both in coaching them on the field and personally,” Lyman said. “He’s been a real role model for them. He’s a big part of the Westwood family, and he’s very academically oriented. We’re hoping that he ends up having a real positive future either in coaching or in teaching, and we would like him to stay here at Westwood if he chooses to do so.”
Lyman said that Mays is still taking on the active duties of football coach and athletic director in addition to his teaching duties.
“Right now he’s still working as our athletic director and running the off-season operations,” Lyman said. “Coach Mays has been a valuable employee for us for quite a number of years. He’s a fine person and a great coach. It’s just time to make a transition for us.”
Mays declined to comment for this story.
Updated: Mays had been coach for three years and not four years (including the half year as interim). He also was Athletic Director for just three of those years. Mays didn't go 0-10 in his first season as previously reported, for he came in halfway through his first season.