Elkhart Athletic Director Jason Fiacco reports that Elkhart ISD has recently added three new educators to the coaching staff.
David Wooldridge has been named as EHS’ Girls Coordinator and will serve as Head Volleyball and Head Girls Basketball Coach. He will also teach General Employability Skills.
Wooldridge is coming from Splendora, a 5-A school in suburban Houston. He's also coached at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic, Dayton, and Hempstead.
Coach Wooldridge achieved 315 wins as a head girls' basketball coach at the 3A-5A level, with multiple playoff appearances. He coached the Hempstead team to the Regional Finals twice and the State Championship once. Splendora’s volleyball record under Woolridge as head coach was 88 wins and 36 losses, including multiple playoff appearances.
“The programs here at Elkhart are like what I’ve inherited before – great kids that work hard but haven’t quite had the success they’re looking for. Everywhere I’ve been, we managed to turn it around,” Wooldridge said, noting he helped build the successful Hempstead volleyball program from an initial roster of six youngsters. “When you have great kids that work hard, anything’s a possibility,” he added.
Wooldridge grew up in Kaufman and graduated from the University of North Texas. He and his wife, Karen, an occupational therapist, have one son, Trey, who plays college basketball at Hardin-Simmons; they also have a daughter, Kaleigh, who will be a 6th grader at Elkhart.
Mi’Kayla Benson comes on board at EHS in her first coaching position. She will serve as assistant volleyball coach and assistant track coach. Benson is a 2014 graduate of Westwood High School, where she played varsity volleyball, basketball, softball and ran track.
She then played volleyball at Navarro Community College where she was named All-American Middle Blocker/Hitter and went on to play volleyball at the (Division II) University of Mount Olive. She earned her bachelor's degree in applied arts and science with a minor in education and psychology from UT Tyler in December of 2018.
In the spring semester after graduation, Benson was a para professional and then interim teacher at PISD. She will teach life skills at Elkhart High School.
Mitchell Stephens joins the Elkhart coaching staff as offensive coordinator for football and assistant track coach. His teaching assignment will be as a resource room teacher at the middle school. A Groveton native and 2003 graduate of Groveton High School, Stephens played football against Elkhart in district games in high school. He's excited about returning to this area, where his family still lives.
Coach Stephens earned his degree in kinesiology from Sam Houston State in 2007. He has coached at Texas City, Hull-Daisetta, and Conroe. Most recently, he served as head football coach in Page, Arizona, near the Utah border.
In two years at Page, Coach Stephens’ teams won 18 games and qualified for the playoffs both years. He enjoyed working with the predominately Navajo population there but acknowledged it was too far away from his East Texas roots.
Stephens is excited about the opportunity at Elkhart. He likes what he has seen of the kids' attitude in the summer weight room and 7-on-7 competition.
Asked what he brings to the district, Stephens said: “I feel like my big thing is building relationships with kids. I bring energy. I’m a positive role model for kids, and I think that’s what it’s really all about. I also can contribute on the X's and O's, and I try not to ever be out-worked.”