Thursday, December 1, 2022

Liberty athletic director plays the long game

Randy Mayes has made three significant career moves since he seemingly retired eight years ago. He’s confident this latest move will be his last — though he’s not looking for it to end anytime soon.

Mayes, who turns 67 this month, was hired as Liberty Christian’s new athletic director in June, ushering in what he hopes will be another successful and fun chapter in a career that includes four decades as a public and private high school coach, teacher, and administrator. It’s his second stint as an AD, as he held the same position at Lewisville ISD from 2008 to 2014.

“This has a greater chance of being my last move,” Mayes said with a laugh. “I felt the Lord’s calling to do this, and usually when that happens, I resist a little to see if it’s legit. I know how first-class Liberty has been and still is, and I wanted to be part of it.”

He added, “Liberty has done so much for me already, so it’s an honor to give back to them.”

Mayes retired as Lewisville ISDs athletic director in April 2014 but immediately began working at Liberty as an assistant football coach and teacher. He held that role until 2018, when he became the local Director of Partnership Development for Atavus, a company that educates and certifies high school coaches nationwide on proper tackling techniques.

Now he’s back working in high schools, which has always been his bread and butter. His career includes coaching stops at Ennis, Odessa Permian, and Marcus. He was the head football coach at Marcus from 2001 to 2006. He then became the district’s physical education director and later its athletic director. With Mayes as its AD, Lewisville ISD experienced athletic success across the board, most notably state championships in volleyball (Hebron, 2010), boys basketball (Marcus, 2011 and 2012), softball (Lewisville, 2013), girls soccer (Hebron, 2014), and baseball (Flower Mound, 2014).

Anyone who knows Mayes — he and wife Cynthia have three daughters in Katie Bragg, Kallie, and Kyndal — agrees he is as enthusiastic and selfless as they come and attacks each job with excitement that can only be matched by a kid in a candy store.

It’s the perfect marriage for Liberty. The school has always had a successful athletic program but is now leaning on Mayes — a man who loves kids and is eager to be Christ-like in all his roles — to give every sport and team more individualized attention.

“What typically happens is that some schools become known over time for certain sports. Maybe they’re known as a basketball school or a football school or a volleyball school, while the other sports get lost in the shuffle,” Mayes said. “With the way Dr. Blair McCullough has structured this, every parent and student is going to know moving forward that whichever sport your child chooses, that sport is the most important sport.”

To accomplish this, Mayes said they are mirroring what you might find in a college situation, with the athletic director and assistant ADs dividing up and overseeing specific sports.

For example, Mayes will oversee football, volleyball, and baseball, among his many other duties. Baseball coach and assistant AD Billy Jordan is responsible for boys basketball, golf, boys soccer, tennis, and wrestling. Track and field coach and assistant AD Ashley Kelly will oversee girls basketball, cheerleading, cross country, girls soccer, softball, swimming, and track and field.

“Once you get into it and look at it, it’s very exciting,” Mayes said. “I’ve been very impressed with the attention we’ve given each coach and sport. It’s an opportunity for individualized attention, and that structure will hopefully lead to similar success and excitement across all sports.”

As for the future, Mayes genuinely believes he is where he is supposed to be, and listening to him talk about what’s next for Liberty would make anyone want to suit up and take the field.

“It’s a great situation here at Liberty. It’s just like when I taught and coached here,” he said. “The Lord simply wanted me here.”

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