Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New Athletic Director for PT Begins Today

New Pine Tree Athletic Director and head football coach David Collins, right,
visits with sophomores Tucker Smith, left, and
Dax Lopez during a meet-and-greet following Monday's
Pine Tree ISD school board meeting.  Photo: LES HASSELL, LNJ
Adapted from an article by Sarah Thomas sthomas@news-journal.com
Read complete article in the Longview News Journal online.

The Pine Tree ISD board room was abuzz with excitement Monday night, Feb. 24th as trustees unanimously named a new athletic director and head football coach. The board approved David Collins to lead the Pine Tree Pirates.

“I enthusiastically make a motion to hire Mr. Collins,” said school board member Pat Noon.

Collins’ first day with the district is today. A reception followed Monday’s board decision, giving staff, parents and students a chance to meet Collins, who comes from Lake Travis High School near Austin.


Tucker Smith, 16, said he can’t wait to get on the field with Collins. “I can tell from his composure he’s really confident. He knows what he’s doing,” the offensive lineman said after spending a few minutes getting to know his new coach.

And Smith believes Collins’ sure-footing will be contagious. “I’m confident that we’re going to get moving again. We had a period of confusion where we didn’t know who was going to lead us, who was going to be here for us,” he said.

Teammate Dax Lopez and his father, Daniel Lopez, also touted Collins’ confidence as a huge plus for the district. “He seems very friendly, very social, pretty decent — like a man I’d most definitely like to be coached by,” Dax Lopez said, adding he was ready to get on the field and show Collins what he can do.

His father was impressed, as well. “We get a new coach from an athletic program that is a proven winner. And from everything I’ve heard and read, he is a man of character,” Daniel Lopez said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing the benefits he’ll bring to Pine Tree.”

Although he’ll miss the relationships he built at Lake Travis, Collins said, the decision to come to Pine Tree wasn’t difficult. “That to me was an easy decision. I really felt the interviewing committee had a great vision ... that matched my philosophy,” he said Monday night in between talking with parents, athletes and fellow coaches.

Lake Travis’ football program has had championship seasons in recent years that the Pirates have yet to enjoy. The Cavaliers won the 4A Division I State Championship in 2011 and the 15-5A District Championship in 2012 during their first season as a 5A school.

“I’m going in (this) morning,” Collins said, adding he plans to meet with coaches and players. “We will set the tone for the whole program right now.” Collins was one of 78 applicants vying for the position, which was posted in December.

Superintendent T.J. Farler said the district went with Collins after collaborating with parents, teachers, coaches and students. “We’re excited to have a new leader join our team. This is a leader that’s good for our students, that good for our community,” she said. “He’s exciting. He’s very passionate about the work.

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