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Covering the Bronco Nation.

The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

Covering the Bronco Nation.

The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

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Keel Accepts Assistant Athletic Director Position After 10 Years at Legacy

Photo by Maddy
Coach Micheal Keel coaches his team during the March 1, 2016 game against Timberview. The team won, 4-1. [File Photo]

Between his numerous coaching and teaching positions, being the announcer pep rallies and games, watching his kids grow and eagerly awaiting their arrival to Legacy, he reminisces about the last ten years at Legacy as he packs his office. 

Data Coordinator and boys’ head soccer coach Michael Keel announced his departure from Legacy and coaching as he takes on the position of assistant athletic director at Corpus Christi ISD. 

“I have been working for this for the last 13 years. Before I came to Legacy, I started my masters in 2010 when they first started doing it online, and I’ve been working on doing certain things to add to my resume to make myself more hireable as an administrator. The feedback they gave me was I needed more organizational skills on my resume, and that’s one of the reasons that Dr. Butler allowed me to take the data coordinator position,” Coach Keel said. “Then the athletic director down there also says ‘Hey, it would help you if you got this national certification.’ So over the summer, I did that. I’ve been working on bettering myself and tailoring my resume to get into athletic administration. People talk about overnight success, ‘oh my gosh, this just happened so fast.’ This has been 13 years in the making.”

His new position entails him working at the district level. An Assistant Athletic Director provides administrative leadership and management to middle and high school athletics programs. Responsibilities include hiring and supervising coaching staff, evaluating procedures, managing budgets, promoting events, coordinating schedules, securing and approving travel, and ensuring district rules and regulations are being followed.

“I’ll be like an assistant principal of athletics for the whole district. I’ll have a couple of sports that I’m over. I will have a couple of middle schools that I am their contact at the athletic office, but I’ll also be in charge of boring stuff like spreadsheets and things,” Coach Keel said. “I love spreadsheets–that’s one of the things that [being the] data coordinator job really allowed me to get better at. I will be an administrator and coaching coaches; I think that was how I put it in the interview. I look forward to coaching coaches.”

With AP and EOC testing quickly approaching, Coach Keel spent several weeks preparing his position to be distributed to a couple of assistant principals to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. The boys’ soccer team will be guided by science teacher and current assistant coach Sidney Danner for the remainder of the school year.

When I stopped worrying about wins and losses, that’s when I became a better coach because high school athletics is about making young, student-athletes better. If all you’re worried about is the wins and losses, and they never improved personally.

— Coach Keel

“I’m glad I got to work with Coach Danner this year. And I feel comfortable because he’s a great coach. He knows more about soccer than I do. And he’s going be a great person to take over,” Coach Keel said. “I’ve always told my players and I tell my kids and I told my students, but especially my players, that the jersey doesn’t belong to you, you’re the caretaker of that jersey. So while you’re there, are you leaving it better off? Not the cloth itself, but what it represents. And so that’s kind of what I’ve done myself and that’s how I view it. It’s not my program. It’s Legacy’s program that I was the caretaker of. I was the JV coach for three years and the varsity coach for seven. Did I leave it better than I found it? Yes. And so I have no regrets or worries about leaving.”

In 2013, Keel’s immediate involvement in the Legacy community allowed them to build long-lasting friendships with staff and administrators. Between sports games, his kid’s participation in Legacy summer camps, Coach Keel’s teaching and coaching of students of staff, he is happy to have given his family the one-town high school experience.

“We moved here and my kids were just embraced by the teachers and the coaches, going to summer camps and doing all that. I grew up in a one high school town, and I knew everybody from kindergarten on. We all went to the same school and my kids kind of got that experience because being a coach’s kid is like being a pastor’s kid,” Coach Keel said. “I’m not leaving Legacy. I’m going to Corpus. I know that sounds weird, but I’m happy here. My kids are happy here. And that was probably the hardest part was telling my kids. When I told my son, he goes dad ‘I guess I’ll never be a Bronco.’ Because he came here when he was four years old and he’s in eighth grade now.”

His daughter, junior Kaitly Keel, walked the Legacy halls since she was seven. Since her freshman year, she learned to enjoy her dad’s company on campus. Involving herself in numerous extracurriculars like FCA, Student Council, soccer, and powerlifting, she is sad to leave before can graduate from Legacy, but is proud of her dad’s accomplishments.

“I moved to Mansfield before I started first grade, so like, for the past 10 years all I have known is Legacy. So it’s going to be kind of hard to leave. When I was a little kid, I just looked up to my dad so much. He’s been working for this job for the past 10 years, and the amount of work he puts in is crazy,” Kaitly said. “I just want to tell him, ‘Thank you. And I’m so proud of you.’ I just have more of a love for this school because my dad was here. I am definitely gonna miss the people. Just the relationships that I’ve found, especially from Student Council.”

In his ten years at Legacy, Coach Keel feels he has matured as a coach and teacher. From being one of the youngest teachers on campus to now mentoring those younger teachers. He has always been drawn to a leadership position and is thankful for Legacy’s aid in broadening his abilities through the different roles he’s been able to hold.

“What I’m gonna miss most about Legacy is the people. I have these people that are not just coworkers but like, I’ve watched their kids grow up, they watch my kids grow up and these people have taken my kids in and I am going miss the people the most,” Coach Keel said. “In my new role, I won’t be around students as much, and I’m going to miss that. When I stopped worrying about wins and losses, that’s when I became a better coach because high school athletics is about making young, student-athletes better. If all you’re worried about is the wins and losses, and they never improved personally. Now, I’ll have a chance to work with coaches and hopefully, I’ll be able to teach coaches to have the same impact.”

Coach Keel’s last day on campus is March 31. He is scheduled to immediately begin in Corpus Christi on April 3. His family will join him this summer, allowing his kids to finish the school year in Mansfield. 

“I love to prove that I can do hard things. I don’t want an easy life. I don’t want a lazy life, I know it’s going to be a whole new set of challenges and I’m looking forward to that,” Coach Keel said. “But I also love to fish. I love saltwater fishing. So hopefully I have more opportunities to do that, and I know my son is looking forward to that, too.”

About the Contributors
Leilani Fierro
Leilani Fierro, Editor in Chief
It's okay to cry because of journalism because, at one point, we all have.
Gage Mitchell
Gage Mitchell, Photographer
Give me a camera and I'll take your photo. Ask me about myself and I'll tell you I'm the meme lord. Talk to me and you will think I'm weird.
Madison Gonzales
Madison Gonzales, Photo Editor
Hi! I'm Madison Gonzales. I'm The Rider Online's Photo Editor. Follow me on Twitter @maaddis0nn
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