Belton ISD Superintendent Susan Kincannon announced that she will recommend Michael Morgan as the district’s next athletic director and Samuel Skidmore to be Belton High School’s next head football coach. Morgan is currently an assistant athletic director, and Skidmore is the Tiger’s offensive coordinator.
“I am excited to recommend Mike and Sam to the board Monday night,” Kincannon said. “During their time with our program, they have demonstrated that they know how to build a winning program and how to prepare student athletes for life after graduation. I am confident that Mike and Sam are the right people to continue our success.”
In 2016, the Tigers posted an 8-4 record making their third consecutive playoff appearance and winning their second bi-district championship in three years.
In addition to serving as an assistant athletic director and academic coordinator, Morgan has coached the Tigers’ inside receivers and special teams. He is also the head coach for the junior varsity “Red” team and for boys track. Morgan came to Belton ISD in 2007. Before that, he was in Gatesville ISD where he was the athletic director and head football coach from 2001 to 2006 and head softball coach from 1999 to 2000.
“This is where I want to be,” Morgan said. “I love this community and this program. Belton is a great place to raise a family, and it’s a community that truly supports our student athletes. I’m excited to become Belton ISD’s athletic director and looking forward to seeing what our great student athletes and incredible coaches achieve next.”
Kincannon said, “Mike has been a go-to person in the athletic department for many years. I know that I can count on Mike to take care of our kids. He has been the bridge between the athletic department and our classroom teachers. Those are just a couple reasons why Mike is so respected by everyone he works with – coaches and student athletes but also parents, teachers and community members.”
Morgan has a master’s degree in coaching and athletics administration from Concordia University and a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science from Southwest Texas State University. His wife, Becky, teaches fourth grade at Sparta Elementary School. Their daughter, Abbey, graduated from Belton High School in 2016, and their son, Seth, attends North Belton Middle School.
Skidmore joined Belton’s coaching staff in 2014. He has served as an assistant athletic director, the team’s offensive coordinator, and their strength and conditioning coach. Before coming to Belton, Skidmore served as the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Cleburne High School from 2012 to 2014, the offensive line coach and run game coordinator at Brownwood High School from 2009 to 2012, and as the co-offensive coordinator at Wills Point High School from 2008 to 2009.
“The boys in this program play with heart and dedication,” Skidmore said. “Over the past three years, we’ve put in place systems that are working to develop their talents, and I am truly excited to continue building this program atop that foundation. My wife and I are expecting our first son this spring, and we look forward to starting a family here – in a community that supports our kids both on and off of the field.”
Kincannon said, “Sam is truly prepared to take the helm of our football team. He has been a solid presence on the sidelines, in the field house and on campus for the past three years. He’s making it happen for our kids. I’ve heard from our students and our parents that they have great respect for him as a coach and a mentor.”
Skidmore follows Bob Shipley, who became the Tiger’s head coach in 2014 and announced his retirement earlier this month. In addition to the past three years in Belton, Shipley and Skidmore worked together at Brownwood High School from 2009 to 2012.
“After working together in Brownwood and here in Belton, I have no doubt that Sam is ready for this opportunity and that the team will continue to be successful under his leadership,” Shipley said. “Sam, Mike and the rest of our coaching staff deserve a great deal of credit for the team’s success over the last three years. They have been the nuts and bolts of what we’ve done everyday.”
Morgan said, “As a coach, Sam brings out the best in his players. He knows how to develop talent and how to exploit an opponent’s weaknesses. He is the right person to lead this team forward.
Skidmore has a master’s degree in kinesiology from Sam Houston State University and a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports studies from Tarleton State University. He and his wife, Kelly, are expecting their first child, a son, in May.
Kincannon’s personnel recommendations also reflect a change in the structure of the athletic department. The duties of the head football coach and athletic director will now be split between two positions with the director assuming the duties that were previously assigned to an athletic business manager.
Denise Petter, the district’s current athletic business manager, will be retiring at the end of this school year after 35 years with Belton ISD. She is also the head coach for girls, a position that she has held for the last 25 years.
“When Denise retires, she will leave behind an incredible legacy,” Kincannon said. “She has coached hundreds and hundreds of students and has put in place the processes and systems that keep our athletic department humming like a well-oiled machine.”
With the personnel changes in the athletic department, district officials saw an opportunity to review how the program was organized. They also looked at the structure of athletic departments in other school districts with similarly sized programs.
“Nearly 2,000 of our middle school and high school students participate in athletics,” Kincannon said. “We have more student athletes than the total enrollment in at least 800 individual school districts in Texas. This is a big and growing program. It’s important to our kids, their parents and the community. It has reached a point where our athletic program needs a director, who can focus on the entire program without being pulled in other directions.”
The school board will consider Kincannon’s recommendations at their meeting at 6 p.m. Monday in the boardroom of the Belton ISD Administration Building (400 N. Wall St, Belton, TX). If approved, Morgan and Skidmore will begin their new positions on Mar. 1.