HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS: Odessa High, Permian moving forward with new coaching hires

Every school year, shakeups and changes take place within an athletic department.

Ector County ISD had to deal with some of that, seeing various head coaching spots come open at Odessa High and Permian during the 2021-22 term.

“We had some coaches that left the district voluntarily and then we had some coaches that retired,” ECISD Executive Director of Athletics Tracey Borchardt said. “We’re just kind of having to fill in gaps and look for the right people for the right positions.”

Most of the head coaching positions that were open have been filled, with the exception of the Permian boys and girls cross country job.

Odessa High’s job openings included spots for the school’s volleyball, girls basketball and baseball teams.

The school’s volleyball coaching position will be filled by Cody Dominguez, an Odessa native who has experience as an assistant with the Permian Basin Elite Volleyball Club.

Borchardt said that was one of the toughest openings for the department after it came open around December.

She expected to have the spot filled quickly, but ran into issues like the cost of living in the area.

“We’ve got a new personality in there, someone to look deep and dig into those kids and get after it,” Borchardt said. “We’re pretty excited.”

Sherman Chew will take over the Odessa High girls basketball team, while Jerod Couch will make the jump from his assistant role to lead the Bronchos baseball squad.

Borchardt believes in giving assistant coaches the opportunity to prove themselves in bigger roles because she was in a similar position earlier in her career.

On the Permian side, four head coaching sports were settled for boys and girls golf, girls basketball and softball.

Rodney Roman will make the move from coaching the school’s girls golf team to lead the boys after former head coach Doak Huddleston retired at the end of the school year.

Couch won’t be the only assistant moving up, as former assistant golf coach Macee Lane will take over the Permian girls golf team.

Michael Ellis is set to come in from the Victoria area to take over the girls basketball team, bringing a familiarity with the school after spending some time previously in Midland.

The softball head coaching position came open a week before the school year ended and will be filled by former Andrews coach Darren Pool.

Pool recently led Andrews to the third round of the 2022 Class 4A playoffs before falling against Canyon.

He has connections to the school after starting his coaching career at Hood Junior High and his wife is a Permian graduate.

The decision to jump to the 6A level was made easier after Pool’s daughter graduated from Andrews this year.

“At the end of the school year, I saw it opened up and me and my wife talked a little bit about it,” Pool said. “I thought, ‘We’ll put our hat in the ring and see what happens.’”

He felt that former coach Angela Arebalos did a good job with the program and he wants to continue building its tradition up.

The only head coaching positions still open is for the Permian boys and girls cross country program.

Borchardt anticipates the position being finalized within the next week as each cross country athlete goes through summer strength and conditioning.

The athletic director said there are several different factors the department looks at when it goes through a hiring process, including how a candidate’s personality fits with each sport at each school.

Making sure the coaches and athletes are having fun consistently and enjoying their jobs was a big priority.

“We’re going to pull somebody in, we’re going to get them going and get them rolling,” Borchardt said. “I want coaches to go out and help kids get ready for the real world.”

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