Leaving Lone Oak

Lone Oak Independent School District athletic director and head football coach Luke Goode is leaving the district, he announced Tuesday in an open letter to the community. 

Lone Oak Independent School District athletic director and head football coach Luke Goode is leaving the district, he announced Tuesday in an open letter to the community.  

Goode has accepted an offensive coordinator coaching position at Mesquite Poteet High School, a much larger 5A school. His departure pushes the total number of coaching openings at Lone Oak to 21.  

Goode’s position at Lone Oak will be divided into two positions now, following a decision by LOISD board members Monday evening. At a special meeting, the Lone Oak ISD Board of Trustees approved a change to separate the district’s athletic director and head coaching positions. Additionally, trustees agreed to provide a stipend for each of the positions, not to exceed $15,000.

Trustees voted unanimously to adopt both changes to the athletic director and head football coach positions, as well as changes to the stipends associated with the two positions.

The majority of school districts in Hunt County have athletic director positions that are tied to a head coaching job. Greenville ISD, Boles ISD, Quinlan ISD, Caddo Mills ISD, Wolfe City ISD, and Cumby ISD all have athletic directors who are head coaches of a sports program at the high school. Commerce ISD has an athletic director that is not a coach for any sport. Bland ISD, Campbell ISD and Celeste ISD do not list an athletic director on staff directories posted on the district’s websites.

Before Monday’s meeting, the Herald-Banner had received unconfirmed reports of Goode’s impending departure; he has served as the district’s head football coach and athletic director since 2015.

When asked last week by the Herald-Banner about the reports, Superintendent Lance Campbell replied via email that “Goode is still employed at the district.”

Campbell’s language at Monday’s meeting, though, indicated a change was indeed afoot. When he proposed separating the athletic director position from the head football coaching position, Campbell stated the change would be “contingent” on Goode’s employment at the district.

“All this is contingent on (Goode’s) resignation or (Goode) getting another position elsewhere,” Campbell said at the meeting.

Goode declined to speak with with the Herald-Banner after Monday’s school board meeting, but on Tuesday he announced that he will be leaving the district through a letter to the LOISD community.

In the letter, Goode thanked the community for its support and celebrated the achievements of his students. He wrote that he will be leaving the district to accept a coaching position at Mesquite Poteet High School.

Goode coached at Mesquite Poteet before coming to Lone Oak seven years ago. He is also a graduate of Lone Oak High School.

“I personally want to thank every player, coach, administrator and supporter who has poured countless hours into this program to make sure the student athletes were successful on the field/court and off,” Goode wrote.

His departure closely follows the departures of almost every other other head coach at the district, including softball, volleyball, boys basketball, girls basketball and track. The district is also looking to hiring an offensive coordinator and a defensive coordinator for the football team, along with a powerlifting coach at the high school.

All of those coaching openings at the high school were posted on Tuesday on TeacherJobNet.Org, an online job posting website for Texas teachers.

The job posting website also shows 12 other secondary coaching openings at LOISD – 10 at the high school and two at the middle school – bringing the total number of coaching positions advertised on the site to 21. All coaches in the district are required to be classroom teachers.

Also at Monday’s meeting, school board members agreed to increase the district’s coaching stipends to a level that Campbell described as “more competitive.”

“When we looked at other school districts, it was in comparison with where we stand on comparable school districts,” Campbell explained during the meeting. “We were behind a little bit and what we wanted to do was be a bit more competitive so when we do hire coaches, for those that are leaving, it gives us a better chance at hiring the best possible coaches we can.”

Trustee Brad Harrison, who was elected to the board in May, asked how much the combined increases to stipends would cost the district.

“I would like to know what I’m voting on,” Harrison added.

Campbell could not immediately answer how much the total increase would amount to. Board members calculated the increases on the spot and said the higher stipends would cost the district an additional $7,500.

When asked afterward whether the proposed increase to stipends were related to the loss of coaches at the district, Campbell said one had nothing to do with the other. “No, it’s not connected with anything on losing coaches,” he told the Herald-Banner.

Following is the full text of Goode’s letter announcing his departure from the district:

“THANK YOU! The last 7 years at Lone Oak ISD has provided my family and I with a ton of new experiences that we will take with us forever. We will be accepting a new coaching position as Co-Offensive Coordinator at 5A Mesquite Poteet High School. It is a wonderful opportunity that has been afforded to us and we are thankful for all the supporters over our career at Lone Oak.

I personally want to thank every player, coach, administrator and supporter who has poured countless hours into this program to make sure the student athletes were successful on the field/court and off. You should be proud of your accomplishments. In a short period of time you were able to win a Cross Country District Championship, Football District and Bi-District Championship, Girls Basketball Bi-District Championship, Softball Regional Quarterfinals Championship, plus several other Individual Regional and State Qualifiers just to name a few. We also enjoyed 4 Student/Athlete Valedictorians, Lone Oak Impact, Hurricane Harvey Relief, working carnivals and parades, and students who have received Christ of been baptized during our tenure here. These are the real victories!!

As much as I want to tell each of you face to face, the summer has not allotted that possibility. With that said I will be at the school this week and would love to talk to you personally and wish each of you good luck!!

Proverbs 3:5

Coach Luke Goode”

Education & Special Projects / Royse City Reporter

Hojun Choi is a native of Houston and a graduate of University of Texas at Austin, where he studied journalism and worked as a reporter at The Daily Texan. To reach him outside of business hours, email HChoiReporter@gmail.com.