Two additional members of the 1996 Lewisville High School state championship football team have emerged as candidates for the vacant LHS head coaching position.
RJ Bond, a free safety on the championship team who is currently the linebackers coach and running game coordinator at Fort Worth South Hills, confirmed that he threw his hat in the ring for the position on Friday. Sources close to the football program also indicated that Coppell defensive coordinator Eric De Los Santos, a former Farmer wide receiver, is also in the mix.
On Friday, the Texan Journal reported that Michael Odle, the quarterback on the 1996 team and current offensive coordinator at Hebron, had expressed interest in the position vacated by Gregg Miller two weeks ago.
Bond played at Texas Southern after graduating from LHS in 1997, then returned home to coach football at DeLay Middle School. Since then, he has served as the secondary coach at Dallas Skyline, a position coach at Lakeview Centennial, and the defensive coordinator at Dallas South Oak Cliff before landing at his current position.
At all of his high school stops, Bond has served as a recruiting coordinator, assisting student-athletes and parents in the college recruitment process. He was most successful at the two Dallas ISD schools, where three of his Skyline players went on to Division I colleges and ultimately the NFL and 42 South Oak Cliff players signed college scholarships during his four-year stay.
De Los Santos was a two-way player on the 1996 LHS team and went to Huron University, an NAIA school in South Dakota, along with four Farmer teammates.
His first job out of college was as the head football coach and athletic coordinator at Durham Middle School, an ambitious endeavor for someone with no prior coaching and administrative experience. While at Durham, De Los Santos built the foundation for all athletic teams as his hiring coincided with the school’s opening.
De Los Santos was promoted to coach safeties at LHS after three years at Durham, then moved on to Frisco Liberty (cornerbacks) and Plano East (defensive coordinator) before settling into his current position at Coppell.
Bond said all three former state champions were close as kids in Lewisville, and remain tight as coaches. They are among a group of former Farmer players turned coaches who organize an annual luncheon with former LHS coach Ronnie Gage at the annual state coaching convention.
“It would be such an honor to be able to go home and coach in Lewisville,” said Bond, who playfully bragged about middle school victories over Odle when contacted. “But, at the end of the day, I’m really hoping one of us will get the job. Who knows, maybe it can be an opportunity for us to all be together again.”
Bond said another local coach with ties to Lewisville may be interested in the vacancy as well. Martin Simmons was a tight end on the LHS team that won the 1993 state championship who went on to play collegiately at Colorado. He is currently on the coaching staff at South Oak Cliff.
Lewisville ISD athletic director Timothy Ford hopes to fill the vacant head coach position in early April, in time for the new coach to organize spring practices.