Mike Fuller is the new leader of the Eagles.
After taking Colleyville Heritage to seven straight playoff appearances and compiling a record of 60-19, Fuller accepted the head football coach and athletic director job at Decatur Thursday night.
Fuller said the small-town atmosphere and a chance to be an athletic director drew him to Decatur and away from his 5A job in Colleyville.
“I have heard nothing but fantastic things about this community,” Fuller said. “It’s an opportunity to be an athletic director and still coach football, which has been a goal of mine for a while. I love the one town, one community and one high school atmosphere.”
Fuller replaces Kyle Story, who left the district in February to become the first football coach at Frisco Independence High School, which will open in the fall.
The district had 144 applicants for the opening and interviewed eight candidates.
“The talent pool was extremely deep,” said Decatur ISD Superintendent Rod Townsend. “We had 144 applicants, and there was probably 40 of those that you would have been satisfied with. As we narrowed it down to eight, it was tough. He continued to come to the top.”
Trustee Alan White served on the committee that interviewed the eight candidates and recommended Fuller.
“He blew the committee away and was by far the No. 1 choice,” White said. “He obviously has a passion for helping kids and working with kids. He’s been successful everywhere he’s been. He came highly recommended.”
Fuller comes to Decatur with a career record of 109-49 in 14 seasons split at Colleyville Heritage and Coppell.
“He’s got an impressive coaching history,” said school board president Kevin Haney. “He has a great winning history, in addition to that he is a classy guy. I think he’ll fit in well in the community. He’ll work well with all the different athletic programs and coaches and will keep things running smoothly. He seems to be really organized and a good problem solver.
“He’s a coach’s son and lived in communities like Decatur growing up. He wants to be back in a community,” Haney added. “He is a sharp guy with high ethics and morals. That’s important. We’re not just developing athletes. We’re developing young people into people that can contribute to society.”
Fuller spent parts of his childhood in Seymour, Iowa Park and Windthorst before graduating from Arlington High School.
“Truthfully, I’ve been longing to live in a smaller town rather than the big city,” Fuller said. “I grew up in some smaller towns when I was young. I’ve coached in nothing but 4 and 5A schools.”
Fuller played football at Abilene Christian University from 1988 to 1993, starting at quarterback for three seasons. He also pitched a season at ACU.
He made coaching stops at Harlingen, Conroe and Irving MacArthur before heading to Coppell as the offensive coordinator in 1997. He took over as head coach of the program in 2000, going 49-30 with five playoff appearances in seven years.
Fuller went to Colleyville Heritage in 2007.
“There were a lot of different things that made him stand out,” Townsend said. “He is a class act. The experience that he has at all levels. He’s grown up in smaller districts and gone to school in those small districts. He’s lived and worked in larger districts. He brought a very diverse resume to us. He’s proven and has a great record.”
At Colleyville Heritage, his teams ran a fast-pace offense. During a 8-3 campaign last year, the Panthers averaged 361 yards per game. The team averaged 450 yards per game in 2012, going 11-2.
“I like to go fast,” he said. “We can slow it down if we need to. I’ve had the same system for the last eight or nine years.”
He expects to have similar success at Decatur as in his previous stops.
“We’re going to put a program in place to get kids to compete as hard as they can for their school and teammates in every sport,” Fuller said.
Fuller plans to bring several members of his staff at Heritage to Decatur.
“I worked with a great group of guys that did a great job of getting the most out of kids,” he said.
The work starts Monday for the new coach.
PLAYING EXPERIENCE – Football captain and all-district quarterback at Arlington High School, three-year starter and quarterback at Abilene Christian University
OFFENSIVE COACHING EXPERIENCE – Varsity quarterbacks coach at Harlingen High School, varsity receiver caoch at Conroe High School, varsity running backs coach at MacArthur High School, varsity offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Coppell High School
HEAD COACHING EXPERIENCE – Head football coach/boys athletic coordinator at Coppell High School with a district record of 31-14 and an overall record of 49-30, Head football coach/boys athletic coordinator at Colleyville Heritage High School with a district record of 43-8 and an overall record of 60-19