Baxter Resigns; Atterberry Named Head Coach of Javelina Football Program
KINGSVILLE - June 01, 2007
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Texas A&M-Kingsville head football coach Keith Baxter announced his resignation as head football coach at Texas A&M University-Kingsville today, and the Javelina defensive coordinator Jeremy “Bo” Atterberry has been named head coach through the 2007 season.
Texas A&M-Kingsville Vice President for Institutional Advancement Randy Hughes hosted a news conference with Baxter and Atterberry in McCulley Hall on the Kingsville campus.
About Baxter’s announcement
Baxter announced his decision was due to his family’s wishes to remain in Durant, Okla., the city he moved from when he came to Kingsville in December 2006. “I want to thank the university and the community of Kingsville for all of their support, but it is with a heavy heart that I must resign my position as head football coach at Texas A&M-Kingsville,” he said.
“This is a special place, but my faith and family have and always will be my top priorities and my first responsibility, and I must meet those responsibilities before all others.
“One of the principles we stress to our student-athletes is keeping your priorities in order. Those principles are faith, family, education and football, and if I’m not going to do that then I can’t ask them to.
“The support I have received from the administration has been great. This is a decision based strictly on the needs of my family. I wish nothing but the best for Texas A&M-Kingsville.
“I feel the program is going in the right direction. There are good student-athletes here and more are on the way. I have total confidence that this program will flourish under the leadership of Bo Atterberry. He is a great coach and has a bright future. It’s an excellent opportunity for him and he will work tirelessly to bring success to the football program.”
Transition will be smooth
Hughes wished Baxter well and outlined Atterberry’s new responsibilities. “While we are disappointed to see Keith leave, we certainly understand and respect his need to be with his family,” Hughes said. “As we make this transition, we want our fans, students and especially our student-athletes who are involved with the football program to know that we will continue to do everything possible to make it as smooth as possible.
“We are fortunate that Keith hired an excellent defensive coordinator who has the skills we want in an coach. Bo Atterberry will continue the good work begun by Keith in developing a program that will lead the Javelinas back into national contention and a system that gives our student-athletes every opportunity to graduate.
“Bo and the coaching staff are contacting every football player personally to reinforce that our program will continue to be strong under his leadership in 2007,” Hughes said.
About Bo Atterberry
Atterberry joined the Javelina staff in January of 2007 after serving as the defensive coordinator at his alma mater, Southeastern Oklahoma, the past three seasons.
“I want to thank the administration at Texas A&M-Kingsville for making my dream a reality today,” Atterberry said. “It's a honor to be the head coach of the Javelinas and we are going to continue our mission of returning Texas A&M-Kingsville to its rightful place among the best programs in the country. We had a great spring practice, our kids are excited about the 2007 season and I'm excited about leading them on to the field September 1st when we play Southwestern Oklahoma.
“The tradition and history of Javelina football is second to none, and I appreciate the backing from the administration and from Randy Hughes. I also appreciate the backing from the fans. I know the students, the Javelina Club, the faculty and staff, and the entire community view our team as their team. That means a great deal.
“I want to send a message to all supporters of Javelina football: We will be successful in the classroom, in the community and on the football field. We will make you proud.”
During Atterberry's three years as defensive coordinator, the Savage Storm won or shared the Lone Star Conference North Division title three times. The Savage Storm posted a 13-2 league record during those three seasons.
Baxter hired Atterberry as defensive coordinator in 2004 and Southeastern earned its first ever NCAA Division II playoff berth. He coached the past two seasons under current Southeastern head coach Ray Richards. In his first year as defensive coordinator in 2004, Southeastern led the Lone Star Conference and ranked 16th in the nation in total defense.
Last year’s Savage Storm defense was one of only three in the conference to give up fewer than 200 points on the season, ranking third in scoring defense at 19.2 points per game. Southeastern also ranked third in the LSC in total defense, allowing only 284.5 yards per game. The Savage Storm finished 10th in the nation in defensive pass efficiency and led the conference in overall pass defense and defensive pass efficiency, allowing less then 50 percent pass completion.
During his three seasons as defensive coordinator, Savage Storm defensive players earned first team All-Lone Star Conference honors nine times and second team All-League accolades eight times. Atterberry coached Norman Dawson, the 2005 LSC South Division Defensive Back of the Year and Chris Sawyer, the 2004 LSC South Division Linebacker of the Year. Bo's father, Duke, was long-time head high school football coach in Oklahoma, served as tight ends coach at the University of North Texas and is now an assistant coach at Tyler John Tyler High School.
Atterberry, 32, is a 1998 graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma where he was a four-year letter winner in the Savage Storm secondary. He was named honorable mention All-Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference as a senior in 1997. He served as an assistant football coach for four seasons at Bartlesville (Okla.) High School and was an assistant at Allen (Texas) Junior High School before joining the Southeastern staff as secondary coach in 1998.
He is a native of Pawhuska, Okla., where he was a three-year starter at quarterback and a two-year starter as a defensive back, earning All-State honors as a defensive player and was the District Offensive Player of the Year.
He and his wife April will celebrate their first wedding anniversary in July.
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