Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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July 11, 2014

New coaches announced at Eustace

Eustace — Eustace athletic director Heath Ragle announced his coaching vacancies in softball and basketball are filled with the hiring of Steve Tardiff and Joe Brown.

He hired Clay Ard from Kerens to become a football assistant and head powerlifting coach during the off season.

The three new coaches join coach Lloyd Mahaffey, who came to Eustace from Robert E. Lee. Mahaffey will take over the girls basketball program this fall.

Tardiff comes to Eustace from Cross Roads where he was the head softball coach this past season. He takes over the program from Dottie Hawhtorne, who moved to West Texas.

“It is a really great deal for us. He has led Cross Roads to the state semifinals before so he has a lot of experience. We are excited to have him building off of what Dottie has already started for us,” Ragle said. “We have some good young players that I think he can do that with.”

Ragle said Mahaffey will be the softball assistant coach, while Tardiff will be the assistant basketball coach.

“I think they will work really well together,” Ragle said.

The Bulldogs basketball program will be led by another new coach following the resignation of Chris Lowry over the summer.

Brown comes to Eustace from Linden Kildare, where he was an assistant.

Ragle said this is Brown’s first head coaching position.

“He played collegiate basketball and is a young guy and motivated to build a program,” Ragle said.

He said the fans will see a coach base his team on what the strengths are of the athletes.

“He really wants to look at our kids and gauge if we are playing a man or a zone,” Ragle said. “He wants to see what would be fit them and I think he can figure out what is best for them.”

Ragle said Brown had a chance to become the head coach at Linden Kildare but decided to make the move to Eustace.

“We are excited to have him come aboard and lead our program,” Ragle said.

Ard returns to the Henderson County area after being an assistant coach at Mabank ISD.

He recently made the move back to the area from Kerens ISD.

Ragle said Ard will be an assistant football coach and the head powerlifting coach.

He replaces Mark Barefield, who was the defensive coordinator and head powerlifting coach last season.

“Coach (Mark) Barefield took the offensive coordinator position at Callisburg and he has family up there,” Ragle said. “It was a good move for him and his family.”

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