The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

June 10, 2014

Moore hires Hix as football coach

Former Stillwater coach bringing new attitude to program

MOORE — It's a familiar position for Paul Hix. During his coaching career, he's joined teams when they were at their lowest and helped them rise to their former glory.

The Moore Public Schools Board of Education is hoping Hix can perform the same trick with the Moore High School football program. It approved his hiring as the Lions’ new head coach Monday during its regular school board meeting.

"This is about the third time I've been in a situation where it's been a little downtrodden," Hix said. "The team was low on expectations and moral. My experience has been, if you come in and you act like you've been there before, and you carry yourself in a professional manner, the people respond to that. They are going to jump on board and I’m going to pull and drag or whatever I've got to do to bring these guys up to the level of play I’m going to expect from them. I’m going to get started with that (today)."

Hix was one of 30 applicants. MHS Athletic Director Chad Mashburn believes the search committee and school board have made a good choice.

"We are proud to have Paul Hix as our new head football coach," Mashburn said. "The moment the interview started we were engaged in what he was telling us he could do here. We believe Moore Lions football is headed in the right direction. I am excited to work beside him."

The school board also approved the hiring of Steven Peeler as the new Moore baseball coach and Bobbie Graumann as the new Southmoore boys and girls swim coach. No action was taken on replacing Carl Franks as district athletic director.

Hix received his Bachelor's degree from Northeastern State and Masters of Law at Texas State University. He brings with him wife, Shure, and three kids,  Kaydence (9), Titan (7) and Sage (3).

Hix becomes the fourth head coach at Moore in the past eight years. He comes to the program after serving as offensive coordinator at Stillwater High for the past four years. Before that, he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach  at Bixby for one season.

Hix believes having those coordinator titles on his resume helped him get the MHS job.

"I felt they were impressed with the fact I'd been a coordinator most of my entire coaching career," Hix said. "Minus my stint in college, I've been in charge in someway shape or form. I’m a younger coach, but I’ve always had some responsibility. And I think coordinating an offense at  6A level was important to them. That they have someone with that type of experience."

This will be Hix's first head coaching job and knew it was one he couldn't pass up.

"There are only 16 head coaching jobs in the upper level of 6A," Hix said. "When one comes along I think, someone in my position has to jump all over it. I did. Fortunately the administration and board decided to go with me. I'm overwhelmed with excitement about it. I really like the community. It’s one of those places I can see myself living and coaching for the next 30 or 40 years or however long I have."

Hix is replacing Todd Watters, who was fired last month at the start of spring football practice. In his two years as the Lions coach, Watters racked up a 2-18 record.

Over the past decade, Moore has struggled to compete with the top teams in 6A, much less it rivals Westmoore and Southmoore. Hix knows he has a challenge in front of him.

"Right off the bat I think I’m going to come in and try to infuse as much bas energy as I possibly can," Hix said. "I try to be a high energy guy. We are going to be a loose group. We're going to try and have fun. You're going to hear music at practice and we're going to try and enjoy the time we have to spend at football."

Part of Hix's solution is getting the fans back to filling the Moore Stadium stands. He plans to install a pass oriented spread offense that will attack defenses all over the field.

"We're trying to do a whole lot at once," Hix said. "I hope along the way we can garner a lot of support form the community. We want to serve the community as best we can in the off time.  I just really hope that this community is ready to see something that's going to be exciting I think. We're going to take our shots. We may swing and miss but we're going to come out and we're going to swing. That’s the kind of style we're going to play."

Hix isn't waiting long to get started. With summer workouts having already begun, he plans to meet with as many players as possible today.

First item on Hix's agenda is Moore War, the annual first game of the season against the Jaguars.

"What I’m going to tell them is, it's got to be the party of the century," Hix said. "That’s going to be such a big date for us. I want to overwhelm this community with excitement for that game. It will be fun to watch,. We're not going to just come out and return volley. We're going to try and it winners and swing for the fences."

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