Randy Huffstickler is out of the running for head football coach at Robert E. Lee.
The long-time assistant and current interim head man said Tuesday that the Tyler ISD has three final candidates, and he’s not one of them.
“They didn’t give me a reason and say who it was,” Huffstickler said. “They just told me they’d chosen their final three and I am not in it. They didn’t give me much more information than that, except to thank me for my service.”
Tyler ISD athletic director Rod Kaspar said the final round of interviews would be held this week, but couldn’t elaborate any more than that. Lindale’s Mike Meador has confirmed he was a finalist, but took his name out of the running today.
Huffstickler accepted the job as interim head coach in June, replacing Mike Owens, who retired a month earlier after 15 seasons as Lee head coach. The Red Raiders went 1-9 this season, their lone victory against cross-town rival and Class 4A Division I semifinalist John Tyler.
Despite the record, Huffstickler believes REL is moving in the right direction for whoever gets the job.
“I think our kids battled for 10 ball games and gave it everything they had,” Huffstickler said. “We were behind the eight-ball a little bit (after Owens’ retirement), but we put everything we had into it and I think we were making some moves in the right direction toward the end of the year.”
Huffstickler has coached for 27 years. Before coming to Lee, he coached at Lamar University, South¬western Oklahoma State, Northwes¬tern State University (La.) and Vidor High School. He graduated from Central Arkansas where he was a four-year letterman at quarterback.
Despite no longer being at Lee, Huffstickler does plan to coach again.
“I am going to go home and talk with my wife,” Huffstickler said. “We’ve got some time to make a decision on what we’re going to do.
“We’ll coach again. I know I have some coaching in me somewhere. We love Tyler, we love the community. The people have been great. This is our home and we’d like to keep it that way if possible.”