LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The long-awaited search is over for Panther Nation. Lufkin ISD's Superintendent Roy Knight made his recommendation for the athletic director/head football coach position at Thursday's school board meeting and it was interim athletic director Todd Quick.
In front of a room full of applause, and some tears, the school board then unanimously approved Quick. The Panthers' defensive coordinator for 17 years will have the tough job of taking over for a Panther legend, John Outlaw, after Outlaw's death in December of 2011. Knight says Quick is the perfect fit for the job.
"Todd Quick is our guy, he is a john outlaw protégé," said Knight. He has worked with coach Outlaw for 26 years in his career and brings all those qualities and characteristics."
Quick has served as a part of Outlaw's coaching staff dating back to his days in Arkansas. Under Outlaw and Quick the Pack are 162-46. What is possibly even more impressive is that over that time period 183 players have signed college scholarships, including 7 in 2012. Quick admits it will be tough to fill Outlaw's chair.
"You have to do things your way because you can not be him, there is only one John Outlaw," said Quick. "But you can carry on the tradition and do the things that he did and do the things right for the kids."
Up until Thursday night's meeting Knight had given no indication of the amount of candidates interviewed. However, he has said in the past they would look internally first and said that many community members were involved in the decision making process. Knight joked with about the pressures of being the leader of Panther nation, saying he might not have as many hairs on his head in just a few years. But Quick says he is ready for it.
"There is a lot of pressure and just going through the whole process was a lot over the last two months," said Quick. "But what we will do now is just take a deep breath and then we will go back to work tomorrow morning doing the same stuff we have always done."
During his first speech as athletic director Quick pointed upward and said, "One person I know is smiling right now and I was very fortunate to know him."
With football season fast approaching Quick will look to keep the rest of Panther nation smiling too.