Allen (Texas) football coach Tom Westerberg has been lured away to Barbers Hill (Mont Belvieu, Texas), where he will serve as football coach and athletic director, the schools announced Tuesday.
Westerberg’s name has been prominent in several past college and high school coaching searches, but he has stayed head coach at Allen where in 12 years he has four state titles, including three in a row in 2012, ’13 and ’14. Austin Westlake beat Allen 23-14 in a 6A Division I Texas state semifinal to end the Eagles’ 57-game winning streak.
Former Lewisville state champion coach Ronnie Gage retired at Barbers Hill in December. Barbers Hill, 35 miles east of Houston, was 4-6 in Gage’s sixth season and hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2012. The Eagles haven’t been past the second round since 1999. Barbers Hill won state championships in 1971 and 1976 in Class A.
“I have been fortunate to be part of a program here in Allen that has reached the highest level,” Westerberg said in a news release from Allen ISD. “I felt it was a good time to pursue the opportunity to become an athletic director. The position of athletic director/head football coach at Barbers Hill gives me the opportunity to do that and still be involved with football.”
“It has been awesome watching the Allen program grow. The parents, the fans, the school district and of course the players all make Allen a very special place to be and I can’t express my appreciation enough for the chance to coach here.”
Westerberg came to Allen in 2001 as assistant head football coach/offensive coordinator under head coach Joe Martin. He assumed the head coaching position in 2004 and added assistant athletic director duties in 2007. His record at Allen finished at 148-17. Along with the three-peat, the Eagles also won the state title in 2008.
Westerberg will assume his new role in Barbers Hill later this month. Allen ISD said it will begin the search for a new head football coach and assistant athletic director immediately. The expectation is the process will move quickly.
Waco Midway’s Terry Gambill and San Antonio Brandeis’ Jeff Fleener are considered top candidates. Gambill is former Allen defensive coordinator for 2008 and has success at Midway. Fleener left just last year for San Antonio Brandeis after being Allen offensive coordinator. Gambill and Fleener were both very popular in Allen community and have all the coaching pedigree needed.
For Westerberg, Barbers Hill is a less-hectic place to live and the school is expected to pay $130,000 to $150,000 for the dual role. He made about $115,000 per year in Allen. Westerberg also will be able to bring his son, Kyle Westerberg, who was a first-year offensive coordinator at Allen last season.
In the statement, Superintendent Lance Hindt said, “we are sorry to see Tom go but we understand his desire to advance in his career. Beyond the success that he has helped bring to our football program, Tom has run the program with integrity and positively influenced the lives of hundreds of athletes and coaches. We wish him well in his new administrative and coaching position.”
Contributing: USA TODAY High School Sports