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Changes are coming to the Eustace Independent School District athletic department.

They approved the hiring of a new head girls basketball coach on Tuesday during their regularly-scheduled board meeting in former Tyler Robert E. Lee head coach Lloyd Mahaffey.

Head girls basketball coach Doug Holloway will be leaving at the end of the semester after one year at the helm.

Mahaffey comes to Eustace from a Lady Raider program, where he was the head coach for the past seven years.

Athletic Director Heath Ragle said he is excited to welcome Mahaffey to the Bulldog staff.

“I think he will bring a family atmosphere, and a hard-nosed team to Eustace,” Ragle said. “They will be a fundamentally-based team, and he is an experienced coach and highly-motivated.”

In an interview with the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Mahaffey said he is ready to meet his new team.

“It’s a new opportunity at Eustace. It’s a great school district. They have terrific facilities, great campus and hard-working kids,” Mahaffey said. “I have a lot of work to do here, but it’s a new challenge, and I am excited about it.”

Following a tough season last year at Eustace, Ragle said Mahaffey will welcome in a young squad next season.

“I think we are excited for it,” Ragle said. “We have a lot of young talent coming with a lot of returners, and we are excited on what we can build.”

Next year, Eustace moves into the new District 18-3A, along with Arp, Frankston, Malakoff, Mildred, West Rusk, Rice and Troup.

In other coaching news at Eustace, softball coach Dottie Hawthorne will be leaving at the end of the year, as she will be relocating with her husband.

“We will hopefully get started next week on calling some applicants in, and starting on the interview process,” Ragle said. “She (Hawthorne) has finished out the year, and her husband took another job. She did a great job for us, and we will continue to build on what she has already started.”

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