Hallsville ISD is moving forward in its search for a new athletic director and hopes to nail down the list to one candidate in less than a couple weeks.

“The goal is to take our final recommendation to the board Feb. 18 if all goes well,” Hallsville superintendant Jeff Collum said. “We’re still in the process. We have round one of interviews this week and we’ve got another round of interviews next week. If all that wraps up on time, we hope to take our final candidate on Feb. 18. We’ve had about 10 total. We’ve interviewed six. That’s where we are right now.”

Collum said the district plans to split up the positions of athletic director and head football coach. The goal is for the athletic director to help find a new head football coach.

“The way we’re splitting it up, it’s a new position obviously for the district, so someone who can come in with vision for all sports and unite our coaches with philosophy and vision for the overall athletic department, push all of our programs to the next level,” Collum said when asked what they’re looking for in a new athletic director.

“We’re very competitive. We’ve got sports that do very well across the board but we want to have a common vision, a united vision with all of our coaches and athletes working together. Everybody is a Bobcat. We really want that to be our brand. We’re all Bobcats together fighting in the same direction.”

Splitting up the positions is something Collum said they’ve given a lot of thought to for a while.

“I think with the number of athletes and the number of programs we have, we’re a 5A district and we’ve got 5,000 students,” he explained. “So when you look at how big we are, it’s a pretty good time for us to sit down and think about splitting it up. A lot of districts our size and even smaller, you look at Pine Tree, Whitehouse, I think even Lindale, other teams within the district have split it. So we thought, ‘Well, let’s look at that model and see if we can maximize that.”

The athletic director position came open after Joe Drennon accepted at job as athletic director and head football coach at Grand Saline.

“I love the kids at Hallsville, I really do,” Drennon said. “We had some awfully good classes coming. I think that program is headed in the right direction. I wish them all the very best.”