By JUSTIN RAINS
It took just over a month for Cayuga ISD to find their new athletic director.
In a school board meeting Monday, the Cayuga school board hired current CHS assistant coach Russell Holden as its new athletic director and head football coach.
Holden, who has been on the staff at Cayuga for five years, will replace Greg Jenkins, who after three years at the helm is leaving for Tenaha.
“It’s exciting. It’s something that, coming into a good program that has a lot of tradition, I’m excited to take over what coach Jenkins and coach Allison before me started,” Holden said.
CISD superintendent Dr. Rick Webb said that the district is “looking forward to his leadership of Cayuga ISD’s athletic department.”
“Coach Holden has been a member of our faculty and coaching staff for the past five years. During that time, he has worked hard to help our students be successful in academics and athletics,” Webb said. “Coach Holden also has consistently been a very positive role model for our students. We are confident that he will continue to do all he can to help our student-athletes reach their full potential.”
This is Holden’s fifth year at Cayuga, and he has served in numerous roles in that half-decade.
During this past year, he was the head boys’ track coach, as well as a football and basketball assistant. He has also served as the defensive and co-offensive coordinator at times.
He was on the football staff that led Cayuga to the 2009 state title, as was Jenkins assistant on the 2009-2010 state championship basketball team.
Prior to coming to Cayuga, Holden spent 10 years in San Antonio, winning the 2006 state football title while at Alamo Heights.
Holden said his vision for Wildcat athletics is simple: Just keep doing what has been done in the past.
“I just want to keep pushing that same direction,” he said. “There have been a lot of good things done in the past and (I want to) make sure things keep going in that direction.
“We want to make sure we keep producing those top-notch kids that represent our school well.”
He will have some holes to fill on his staff, including head boys’ basketball — which Jenkins occupied — and head baseball, which was filled by high school principal Greg Branch through this season.
Branch, having worked with Holden on coaching staffs before his move into administration, had high praise for his school’s new athletic head.
“He brings a lot of organization and a lot of diversity,” Branch said. “He’s been a part of all the programs. He’s been in track, football, basketball... and he’s got two daughters in girls’ athletics.
“He just brings a little bit of diversity to all of our programs and he’s a familiar face. The kids really like him and they respond to him.”
Sports editor Justin Rains can be reached via email at email@example.com