Vance named 4A Coach of the Year

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Technology has made trading film a much easier process for Liberty Hill Coach Jerry Vance. (Kathy Canady Photo)

Liberty Hill Coach Jerry Vance was named Class 4A Coach of the Year by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine. (Kathy Canady Photo)

By SEAN SHAPIRO

Jerry Vance found out three weeks ago that Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine was going to name him the Class 4A Coach of the Year.

Vance got a call from a representative from the magazine, which is often referred to as the “Bible of Texas Football,” and decided he wouldn’t say anything about it until the magazine was published.

“I didn’t really think much about it. For me it’s more of an award for the entire staff,” Vance said. “If we were talking about this in a different age — no Facebook or websites — no one would have known until they picked up the magazine.

“But I’m humbled by it, I really am,” Vance continued. “This is the type of thing that goes to one person, but really represents a whole staff and what they’re able to accomplish.”

Those accomplishments included a district title, a trip to the Class 4A State Semifinals and a string of nine straight wins after district play started, all the way up until a state quarterfinal matchup with rival Burnet.

Vance was an easy choice for the award, said E.J. Holland, an editor at the magazine.

“You look at the job he did with his team, from winning district after losing the two non-district games and how he really got them to respond, it really was a simple choice,” Holland said. “He’s very deserving of it and he’s been around for a while. It’s the highest honor we can give a coach and he was the right choice.”

Holland said the staff at DCTF picks the Coach of the Year in each classification as part of a group effort. Different staffers present ideas, which are then discussed and directed before settling on one award winner in each classification.

“That’s how we pick all our awards and when we were discussing Class 4A it was pretty clear Coach Vance was the winner,” Holland said.

While Vance was happy about the award, he was more excited Wednesday when he found out five Liberty Hill football players had been named all-state selection by the Texas Sports Writers Association.

“That’s great,” Vance said. “I’m real happy for those kids and they deserve that. I don’t win anything on the field or in a magazine without them.”

Vance did say that the awards for himself and the student-athletes have been an opportunity to keep re-visiting a highly successful season.

“It really is a chance to look back, not many teams get to play 15 games in a year. We did,” Vance said. “I’m really proud of what that team and that group of kids was able to accomplish.”

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