Former RHS star Gaines among new coaches

Kerbow and Miller will take over track duties

Chris Taylor (above) and Dustin Westbrook (right) are two new members of the Tigers’ coaching staff. Chris Taylor (above) and Dustin Westbrook (right) are two new members of the Tigers’ coaching staff. Coaching consistency has been a blessing for the Rockdale football program in Jeff Miller’s five-year tenure here.

But in 2010, Miller had to replace some veteran coaches that have moved on and some at the last minute which can leave a potential employer scrambling.

Miller is replacing Brent Hasselbach, Earl Gandy, David Smiley, Walt Mangan and Kristen Gunter.

Hasselbach—who was offensive coordinator and head track coach— is still with the school district, after taking a position of assistant principal at the high school.

While Hasselbach was the lone track coach for the past two years, Rockdale will go back to the twocoach system with Jim Kerbow taking over the boys and girls coordinator Stephanie Miller will guide the Lady Tigers.

Also, John Kovar will become the lone offensive coordinator after splitting the duties with Hasselbach the past two seasons.

There are also big changes at the junior high level as long-time coordinator Bart Gibbs will now move up to the varsity level and coach linebackers and Trent Willard will become the head junior high coach.

The new faces include a familiar face in former Lady Tiger basketball star Jessica Gaines.

Gaines is the most decorated girls basketball player in RHS history, having been named first-team all-state in her junior and senior years.

She played college ball at Stephen F. Austin where she was working in administration for the basketball program.

Gaines will work as an assistant in volleyball and basketball.

“It’s great to have her and we are lucky to have her here,” Miller said. “We feel that like Liz (McQuitter), and because she is from here, she can be a great influence on these young girls and show them what you can accomplish if you work hard enough.”

Miller has also hired:

• Chris Taylor, who is from Madisonville, played for Texas A&M while making some NFL practice squads. He comes from Northern Arizona and will coach running backs.

• Dustin Westbrook comes from West Hardin and played at football powerhouse Newton where his father was the long time defensive coordinator. He will coach defensive backs.

• Sam Clark just recently graduated from the Assembly of God where he played football after graduating from New Braunfels. He will coach the offensive line.

• Brantley Gallman will join the Tiger staff fresh off graduating from Texas Tech and will be a junior high coach. Gallman is current coach Tim Spradlin’s nephew.

• Amanda Keen will become the head softball coach after the surprise departure of Walt Mangan who had just recently been hired to replace Kirsten Gunter, who had resigned after the season concluded. Keen comes from Troy and after graduating from Abilene High, played softball at Mary Hardin Baylor.

• Paul Swetlick was most recently the head softball and volleyball coach at Charlotte. He comes from Calallen and attended Texas A&M. He will assist in volleyball and softball.

• Lauren Brown will work at the junior high and is from Ingram- Tom Moore and attended Texas Tech. She last coached at Pearsall.

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