After 15 years with Lovelady ISD, Coach Kerry Therwhanger has accepted a position as Athletic Director/Head Football Coach at Timpson.
Therwhanger joined LISD in 2001 as defensive coordinator and was promoted to AD/Head Football Coach in the spring of 2003. He compiled a record of 102-51 over 13 seasons.
The Timpson ISD School Board officially hired Therwhanger during a special meeting Thursday night. He first met with Lovelady athletes Friday morning to inform them of his decision and then met with fellow faculty members.
"It's a great opportunity. We've had a good run here, but they put together a good package for me at Timpson and that gets me closer to my son Taylor," said Therwhanger, whose son is attending East Texas Baptist University at Marshall.
"I'm excited about Timpson because we've played them a couple of years. They have a lot of talent and I see a lot of Lovelady characteristics in them. I see them where Lovelady was a few years back when we got here. They have all kinds of potential to be very, very competitive."
Timpson is a Class 2A DII school with a high school enrollment of 157.
"Timpson struggled in football this past season and they were looking for someone to take over their program. It was a good time to look since my daughter Keira is a senior and will graduate from Lovelady in May. There aren't many coaches who can say their kids started and finished at the same school. After she graduates then we'll make the move full-time to Timpson," said Therwhanger, whose wife Darlene will join TISD next year.
"It's a good time for me and my family to make this move, so ultimately it's a family decision. I have nothing but appreciation and gratitude for Lovelady and overall Houston County for the way they've treated us and supported us," he said.
During Therwhanger's stint, the Lions have qualified for the state playoffs 10 of the last 11 years. The Lions missed post-season action in 2008, but have made an appearance every year since.
In their first two seasons under Therwhanger (2003 and 2004), the Lions finished third in their district when only two teams advanced to the playoffs.
The Lions won the district championship in 2005, marking only the second time in school history that a Lovelady team made a post-season appearance. The only other previous time was 1979.
Lovelady's football program has recorded several "firsts" during the past 13 seasons.
"We reached the state semifinals in 2006, and winning 14 games this year was a first. In 2009, we were the first Lovelady team to go 10-0 for a season and we did that again this year," pointed out Therwhanger.
"It's just been fantastic. We've had great kids and great support. There were no issues here with administration or the community. It's been nothing but a positive experience," he added.
Therwhanger noted the major improvements to Lovelady's athletic facilities made possible by the support of the administration, school board and community. "When I got here we didn't have the big weight room, we didn't have a track, we didn't have a softball field."
"It's a matter of moving on to the next chapter," summed up Therwhanger. "I'm excited about the opportunity to be in Timpson and what that presents to me. There's a lot of potential there."