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Hiring freeze hurts top-ranked football team in Texas

Jonathan Wall
Prep Rally

Denton Ryan (Texas) High School's top-ranked football team has a potential problem on its hands. While the team may be one of the best in the state and a frontrunner to win a 4A state title this year, with a roster full of extremely talented players, Ryan could be on the verge of going into next season without a key piece to the puzzle that could, potentially, put their ranking in doubt.

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As the Denton Record-Chronicle reported, Ryan is starting to come to the realization that they may not have an offensive coordinator to run things next season. Denton ISD, the school District Denton Ryan is a part of, is in the midst of a distrcit-wide hiring freezes that has forced Ryan head coach Joey Florence from going out and tabbing a new offensive coordinator to fill the opening on his staff.

"We're just taking a wait-and-see type of attitude," Florence told the Record-Chronicle. "That's the way we've handled it all along. We have to hire someone from within the district or on our staff. We didn't have anyone qualified to take it, so we're just waiting."

Ryan ended up in this predicament after former offensive coordinator Matt Tittle decided to leave the position in April for a job outside of coaching. With the district freeze in effect, the head coach was forced to deal with the reality of not being able to go outside his own district for a coordinator.

Florence told the Record-Chronicle that he's against promoting from within since most of his coaches are relatively green behind the ears. At this point, Ryan could start the season without an offensive coordinator, or could have Florence calls the plays, even though he said he's reluctant to take on double-duty.

"More than anything else, I'm more apprehensive about changing a system that has worked for us," Florence told the Record-Chronicle. "I've been able to manage more during the game and spend a lot of time with motivation and working with the kids on a daily basis. I'm kind of apprehensive I won't be able to do those things if I'm worried about calling players."

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With the hiring freeze expected to go on for the foreseeable future, there's a good chance Florence will be forced into action for the upcoming season.

Even though football is still considered a sacred cow in the state of Texas when it comes to budget cuts, there's a good chance a number of schools could feel the same pinch before the beginning of the season if a coach decides to step away from the sport.

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