Nederland canvassing top contacts, crisscrossing state for next football coach

Published 12:18 am Friday, January 19, 2024

NEDERLAND — The next football coach and athletic director at Nederland High School needs to be prepared to excel on and off the football field, according Dr. Stuart Kieschnick.

The Nederland Independent School District superintendent updated Port Arthur Newsmedia on the search process that is two weeks old following the Jan. 8 resignation of longtime district employee Monte Barrow.

“If you look back in time over Nederland Bulldog football and Nederland Bulldog athletics, it has a strong tradition of success, strong tradition of participation and strong fan base,” Kieschnick said.

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“The extracurricular organizations that go along with football, they are all top notch. The band, the Westernaires, it all falls under one family. We want to get that ship sailing back in that one direction.”

The Bulldogs are 6-15 in the last two seasons with one playoff appearance and zero postseason wins.

To help turn things around, Nederland ISD officials have enlisted the assistance of Port Arthur native and Texas prep coaching luminary Todd Dodge, Nederland graduate and retired Cinco Ranch High coach Don Clayton and Nederland graduate and current University of Houston offensive coordinator Kevin Barbay for help.

Kieschnick said with their networks and the district’s natural appeal, he is “100 percent confident” in selecting the right candidate.

“Those people have statewide contacts and know coaches all over,” he said. “We’re using their knowledge of personnel of who is out there to help us find people and not overlook any potential good candidates.”

The district received more than 25 applications as of Thursday afternoon.

According to Kieschnick, a culture of camaraderie and brotherhood within the football program and across the athletic program is needed for consistent winning to return.

“With culture, comes relationships: the coach-and-player relationship, the coach-teacher relationship, the relationship between the coach and the players’ families,” he said. “It all goes back into building a culture of trust. That is all done through relationships.”