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Perennial playoff coach Todd Moebes to lead Lockhart’s athletic department, Lions’ football program

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Former Abilene Cooper head football coach and athletic director Todd Moebes will head the athletics program in Lockhart beginning Monday, March 4, Lockhart ISD Superintendent Mark Estrada announced on Friday.

Moebes, who was perennial Class 5A contender Abilene Cooper’s head football coach from 2011-2017, led his team to the playoffs each of those seven seasons en route to posting a 54-34 record that included five deep postseason runs and two district championships.

Estrada’s decision to hire Moebes came two months after the Lockhart ISD Board of Trustees voted to eliminate the executive director of athletics role currently held by Sheila Henderson and seek out a new head football coach who would also serve as athletic director.

“While Coach Moebes has a superior coaching pedigree and demonstrated success on the field, that is not what sold me,” said Estrada in a written statement released by the district.  “After learning about him from his previous supervisors, coaches that have worked for him, parents of students that have played for him, and leaders from around the state, it was clear that Coach Moebes understands and prepares his students for the real world.  He provides a disciplined program grounded in a strong culture of respect, grit, and leadership, and that is what our Lions deserve.”

While the decision to allow a superintendent to directly hire an athletic director rather than requiring board approval varies per district, the board granted that power to Estrada when he was promoted to the role in 2018.

Estrada will introduce Moebes to the public at the LISD board meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25. The district will also hold a meet and greet at the Lockhart High School gym at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 7.

Executive Director of Communications Christina Courson said Henderson and former head football coach and assistant athletic director Brian Herman, who announced his resignation in December, would finish out the school year by helping Moebes transition and continue with other district duties.

The district said it received 138 applications. The district’s hiring committee included two parents, two community members, coaches, administrators from both Lockhart Junior High School and Lockhart High School, two board members, the deputy superintendent, and the superintendent.

The committee interviewed 12 candidates and recommended three for an additional two rounds of interviews with Estrada.

Who is Todd Moebes?

Long before he coached a team, Moebes was a standout student athlete at Katy High School, playing on the 1994 team that made it to the state finals and serving as a team captain in 1996.

In that same year, he was also the Touchdown Club Finalist for Defensive Player of the Year in the Greater Houston area.

In addition to football, Moebes was a two-year letterman in baseball, serving as team captain in 1997. He was selected as the 1st Team All State First Baseman in the All State All Star Game in Arlington.

Moebes has 16 years of service in public education as a mathematics teacher and has coaching experience in football, track, soccer, baseball, powerlifting and girls basketball at the 5A levels.

Moebes earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Mathematics from Sam Houston State University, where he was a four-year letterman in the football program. He served as team captain in his senior year.

He began his coaching career in 2002 at Katy High School, of which he is an alumnus, and during his tenure there as assistant coach, the football team made two 5A State Championship appearances and won the 2003 5A State Championship.

In 2007, Moebes joined the coaching staff at Abilene Cooper High School and served as the defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator, and recruiting coordinator for the program.  There, he was heavily involved in the recruiting process of high school athletes and was directly involved with the hiring of coaching personnel for the program.

In his nine years of serving as assistant coach, he had a 25-7 playoff record, 5 district titles, two state championship appearances, and a state championship title.

In 2011, Moebes was promoted to athletic coordinator and head football coach for Abilene Cooper High School.

In his role as head football coach, Moebes delivered a consistent winning record of 54-34 over the span of seven years and advanced to the third round of playoffs five times.

With Abilene Cooper, Moebes had an 11-6 playoff record that included two district championships.

He resigned from Abilene Cooper in summer 2018 for personal reasons, according to a story published by the Abilene Reporter News in July.

As the athletics coordinator, Moebes directed the girls and boys athletics programs, ensuring a comprehensive and linear program from middle school through high school.

Moebes initiated a summer strength and conditioning program for the district’s female athletes in conjunction with male athletes. He also launched a true programmatic offseason program for Abilene’s female student athletes.

Outside of athletics, Moebes engaged students in community outreach projects to build character as well as build bridges to adult mentors in the community.

Moebes developed “Back the Red & Blue,” a first responder outreach program with the Abilene Police and Fire Departments, in which first responders came to practice to condition with the football team. He also developed the “Coogs for the Cure” community service project for Breast Cancer Awareness, in which athletes raised and donated over $90,000 to the Vera West/Hope Fund at Hendrick Medical Center for free mammograms.

Moebes also highlighted the importance of academics, recognizing students for academic achievements with stars on players’ helmets, an initiative called the “Star Program.”

“From the start of my career, I’ve always believed we are in the business to make better young women and men,” Moebes said. “We are going to do everything to foster a program that will give our Lions memories to cherish during this special part of their development. We’re going to strive each day to make them better people. When we do that, the Xs and Os will take care of itself.” 

Moebes’ accolades include being named 2013 head coach for the FFA South All Star Team and served on the 2014 Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA) All Star Selection Committee. From 2015-2017, Moebes served on the THSA Board of Directors for Region 2 and was 2017 high school committee regional director for the American Football Coaches Association.

“Coach Moebes certainly has the Xs and Os, but what impressed me more about him in a competitive group of applicants was his dedication to students beyond athletics,” said LISD board President Steve Johnson. “He has a record of developing the character and leadership of young women and men and prioritizes their academic growth and success. In his thank you message after the interview, he shared wanting to support the district’s focus on growing all students 1.5 years each year in reading and math by emphasizing and reminding students of its importance–adding 1.5 feet, yards, or meters to every standard finishing point in athletics drills.”

A defensive-minded coach

For the past six years, the Lions have played in the Slot-T offense under Herman, a possession-oriented, clock-chewing run-heavy scheme that optimizes smaller offensive linemen and features the occasional high-percentage deep pass.

While Moebes – who called the defensive plays as head coach at Cooper – says he’s a defensive-minded head coach, he said Lions fans could expect a balanced offense.

In 2017, his final season as head coach, Moebes said Cooper passed for around 3,500 yards as a team.

While it’s too soon to say who will be on next year’s squad, the Lions are certain to look different on offense with wide receivers Devin Clark and Adam Romero graduating as well as standout running back Daequan Ellison.

Players who could return include electrifying jack-of-all trades running back Daetron Ellison, whose touches included long halfback passes and punting, and quarterbacks Jackie Edwards Jr. and Jayden Garza, who started for the Lions until his season was cut short by an injury in the final non-district game against Burnet.

“It’s going to be a different offense and a different defense,” said Moebes, who has traditionally favored the 3-4 – a base formation with three defensive linemen and four linebackers. “It’s too early to be specific here, but we’re going to work hard to be the best we can be, and work tirelessly to do that.

“You’ve got to be able to do both, though. You’ve got to be able to run and pass. Defensive coordinators can do a lot of different things, and when they crowd the box, you’ve got to be able to throw it. “

As athletic director for the entire district, including junior high, Moebes will be charged with keeping students interested in athletics.

“We want to be able to create momentum and excitement with all our players,” Moebes said. “We want people to have opportunities to be pushed and challenged.

The new AD said he would make sure the tradition of excellence in girls’ athletics continued. The Lady Lions’ athletics program includes a softball squad that is a perennial playoff contender, a volleyball team that made the playoffs in 2018, reversing its record to 12-2 from 2-12 the previous year, a state champion powerlifter and a basketball team that broke a 20-year playoff drought in the 2018-19 season.

“We want to develop all of our sports,” Moebes said. “I have a daughter in the seventh grade who is active in sports, and I want her to have the opportunity to play on teams with high expectations. We will continue to cultivate that.”

Moving to Lockhart with Moebes are wife, Sheri, and children Presli, Kadon and Keeli.

“We can’t wait to be Lions,” Moebes said.

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