Wednesday, July 17, 2024

New AD/football coach leading revamped staff at Tolar High School

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Blake Mouser is used to being a key cog in a winning program. So, it’s expected he will fit right in leading the Tolar sports programs, which includes him being the new head football coach.

And while he comes from a big-time program, his roots are in a small town. Although Tolar is growing, no one is ready to call it anything but a small community, and that’s just fine with Mouser.

Mouser grew up in Blanco, north of San Antonio. It is now a Class 3A school, which is, ironically, the level to which the Rattlers are moving, except the Rattlers will be Division II, and the Panthers are Division I.

“Fortunate and excited to be able to be named AD/head football coach for Tolar. I grew up in a small school setting and it’s exciting to be back in a tight-knit community that cares deeply for their school,” Mouser said.

Mouser replaces Jeremy Mullins, who guided the Rattlers to the Class 2A Division I state championship game in 2023 and is now at the new Eagle Mountain High School.

Mouser will be joined in the 2024-25 school year by five other new coaches leading Tolar programs.

Before coming to Tolar, Mouser was at Austin Vandegrift for 11 years and was the offensive coordinator for the past decade. During his time there, he helped lead the Vipers to 106 wins, including a run to the Class 6A Division II state championship game in 2022.

The Vipers were 10-1 this past season.

From 2013-22 the Vipers reached at least the second round of the playoffs each season. This included seasons of 14-2, 12-1, 12-3, 11-3, 11-1 and 10-3.

Mouser noted he didn’t leave a perennial power like Vandegrift for just any school.

“This is a great opportunity to take over a solid program that has had recent success, and I look forward to being part of the Snake Farm,” he said. “It will be a new challenge moving up to 3A, but I was part of a program that moved from 5A to 6A, so transition is not new to me.

“Biggest thing is to take care of ourselves in the way we prepare this summer and compete as hard as we can — everything else will take care of itself. We have a great senior class that will help lead our transition and hope to be competing for championships soon.”

Prior to his time at Vandegrift, Mouser was an assistant at Temple for four seasons.

VOLLEYBALL

Amber Terrell takes the reins after serving as an assistant. She replaces Misty Rhodes, who started the program, took some time off and returned to lead the program to its best season ever.

Terrell was a part of a Lady Rattlers squad that, in 2023, finished second in district and caught fire in the postseason. The team finished 25-15 and advanced to the Region II final before falling to eventual state champion Windthorst.

BASEBALL

Jody Spain inherits a program that, under Lance Alford, posted the greatest stretch of success in program history. In 2021, 2022 and 2024 the Rattlers reached the third round of the playoffs, and in 2023 they advanced to the regional finals.

Spain was previously the head baseball coach at Class 2A Frost and Class 3A Ballinger.

Alford retired as a baseball coach and took a teaching position in Weatherford.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Andy Atkins is now at the helm after Scott Richardson left to start the program at the new Eagle Mountain High School next season. Richardson led the Rattlers to 77 wins in three seasons, including a regional finals appearance in 2023.

Atkins was formerly the head coach at Class 3A Bowie near Wichita Falls. He led the Jackrabbits to three straight playoffs in his three seasons leading the program, including a third-round appearance in 2023.

TRACK AND FIELD

Brett Mouser is the new head girls track coach and the Rattlers new defensive coordinator in football. He was previously at Class 4A Giddings, 4A Brownwood and 5A Brenham.

Carson Humphreys is the new head boys track coach and will be the offensive coordinator in football. He was previously at Class 5A Abilene Cooper, a program that has reached the football playoffs 17 straight seasons.