Tyrrell receives nod as head coach, athletic director at Van Horn

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By Eric Blum

Used with permission of the

Odessa American

Van Horn turned to a familiar face to lead its athletic program and football team going forward.

Brock Tyrrell was approved by the Culberson County-Allamoore ISD school board Wednesday night as the district’s next head football coach and athletic director after a search to fill the vacancy lasted around a month.

Tyrrell replaces Brian Gibson at the helm of the Eagles’ program. Gibson departed Van Horn last month to originally take an assistant coaching job at Wink, but was recently promoted to be the next Wildcats’ head football coach and athletic director.

Tyrrell, 31, has spent the last six seasons under Gibson as Van Horn’s offensive coordinator. The Snyder native also had previous stops as an assistant coach at Caldwell and Cross Plains.

Gibson and Tyrrell both came to Van Horn in 2011 and are good friends. Tyrrell said there has been an open communication between the duo since Gibson headed to Wink about becoming the Eagles’ next football coach.

This is Tyrrell’s first head coaching job. He didn’t expect that career milestone to happen at Van Horn as he thought Gibson would be leading the program for many years to come. Tyrrell couldn’t be happier though that the chance comes in a town where he is already well known.

“We’ve got a home here and roots established here,” Tyrrell said. “We’re just looking forward to many more years in Van Horn.”

As word of Gibson’s departure started to spread, more people came up to Tyrrell and asked him if he was going to apply for the vacancy. He already planned on throwing his name into the hat and found out after two interviews with the school board that he would be taking the helm.

Tyrrell said he doesn’t want to make huge changes to the program. Instead, he wants to keep what’s led Van Horn to playoff victories the past two seasons at the heart of what the team does.

“The key to continuing that is to make sure the kids are motivated, it’s intense but it’s fun and keeping the drive alive and treating every situation we’re in like it’s the biggest game of the year,” Tyrrell said.

Tyrrell said he’s imparted that approach to the school’s softball team, which he’s coached for the past six seasons. He’s also served as the school’s strength and conditioning coordinator.

As the Eagles’ offensive coordinator, Tyrrell led a dynamic spread offense that could throw the ball just as proficiently as running it.

“Our offense has been pretty explosive but that’s due to the work ethic of these kids,” Tyrrell said. “I know these kids are going to buy in and keep going right along.”

Tyrrell was given the freedom by Gibson to call plays as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator and run his side of the team to gain the necessary experience to one day be a head coach. That decision by Gibson will be paying off for the Eagles for years to come as Tyrrell knows how to organize his team in good and bad situations.

“Over the course of six years, it’s been great to have the freedom,” Tyrrell said. “I greatly appreciate (Gibson) for that.”

Tyrrell said Gibson has been supportive of him and will still continue to be — that is of course except for the week when Wink and Van Horn face this fall.

Wink and Van Horn are District 5-2A Division II opponents on the gridiron with a 2017 regular-season finale showdown slated for Nov. 3 at Van Horn’s Eagle Field.

“To have that friendly competition going against each other now is going to be a blast,” Tyrrell said about coaching against Gibson. “The kids will like it I’m sure. It’ll fire them up. It’ll be interesting and a lot of fun.”

Tyrrell added that his focus won’t just be on football but to better all Van Horn sports.

“I’m going to be just as dedicated as I’ve been and even more so now,” Tyrrell said.