McCormick High School has a new head football coach in Paul Pratt, athletic director Gena Wideman confirmed Tuesday.
Pratt is a native of McCormick who served as offensive coordinator for the Chiefs last season.
"It's a dream come true to give back to the Chiefs," Pratt said. "I've worked for this county for 27, 28 years dealing with rec, middle school and varsity programs. But it's a dream come true, and there's nothing like giving back to your community."
Pratt has served as McCormick’s head softball coach for six years, head JV girls basketball coach for 12 years, and he's been an assistant coach on the varsity girls basketball team.
"Pratt has been in the district for a number of years,” Wideman said. “He is very knowledgeable of football, and he is here. Football coaches come and go, but he's here. That's important to the growth of any program."
Wideman said a committee formed and interviewed other candidates, but she did not say who else interviewed for the job.
Pratt will replace Russ Schneider, who was placed on administrative leave following a Feb. 16 arrest for driving under the influence.
Schneider has remained employed as a social studies teacher, and whether he remains on the coaching staff will be up to Pratt.
"Most of the time head coaches are allowed to choose their coaching staff, so I don't have that information right now," Wideman said.
Pratt said he has not yet made a decision regarding Schneider.
"I'm really trying," Pratt said. "Right now I'm working with my athletic director on a couple things, but I'm really trying to salvage coach."
The Chiefs went 5-6 last season, using a 4-0 record in Region 1-1A to earn a spot in the Class 1A playoffs, where they lost 42-14 to Lewisville.