Kurt Haberthur highlights busy week of Texas Panhandle coaching moves

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Kurt Haberthur was named the Gruver athletic director and head football coach on Friday. [David Erickson/ Press Pass Sports]
The Texas Panhandle saw a busy week of head football coaches making transitions into new places.

Highlighting the week of busy moves is veteran coach and Perryton graduate, Kurt Haberthur. On Friday, Gruver ISD named Haberthur as its next athletic director and head football coach.

Haberthur is no stranger to leading his own program spending the past three seasons at his Alma mater, Perryton, where he guided the Rangers to a 12-22 record. Previous to Perryton, Haberthur led Sunray to a 43-28 mark from 2011-2017 making five playoff appearances before spending two years as the offensive line coach at Amarillo High.

“I wasn’t looking for another job,” said Haberthur, who is 55-55 overall as a head coach.  “But Gruver happen to call me, and I entertained the opportunity. My wife and I talked about it, and we went and looked at Gruver’s situation and it was great. We had a great conversation, and it was just the right fit. I’ve coached and played against Gruver since I was in high school, and the community and school is top notch in everything they do. Everything about Gruver is high standard and that was appealing to me.”

Gruver also hired Haberthur’s wife, Delma, as the high school principal.

Perryton is expected to name its next head football coach early next week.

Dalhart graduate Jeff Smith was named the head football coach at West Texas High. [Provided photo]

Smith hired as West Texas High new football coach 

A very familiar name is returning to the Texas Panhandle.

On Tuesday night, West Texas High ISD approved the hiring of Jeff Smith as the school’s next head football coach and boys coordinator.

Smith has spent the last five seasons at Hale Center head football coach amassing a 22-30 record. Though he’s been on the South Plains since 2018, Smith is well known in the Amarillo-area. He started the prestigious Bushland baseball program in 2007 leading the Falcons to three UIL state tournament appearances. From there, Smith spent his first stint at West Texas High as the offensive coordinator and head baseball coach from 2014-2017 before taking his first head coaching job at Brownfield.

“We’re really excited to go back to Stinnett,” said Smith, who is 24-38 overall as a head coach. “They were great to my family the first time. we were here. It’s very familiar to go back and do what I’m doing now. It’s closer to my mother and my dad was a Phillips graduate so being closer to home is great for us. I’ll do just do anything they need me to. I want to continue to build a winning culture and keep building relationships.”

Louis Kelley III was named the head football coach at Boys Ranch on Tuesday. [Provided photo]

Kelley III takes over at Boys Ranch 

Boys Ranch has found its man to lead the Roughriders football program into the future naming Louis Kelley III as the next head coach.

This Texas A&M-Kingsville graduates first head coaching job after spending the past five years as the Lubbock Coronado running backs coach.

“I’m very blessed and thankful for coach (Paul) Jones for taking a chance on me at Boys Ranch,” Kelley III said. “I’ve been imbedded in coaching since I could walk, and I can’t wait to get started and lead the young men at Boys Ranch. I’m about winning with relationships and building the young men up and making a positive impact.”

The Pflugerville native comes from great lineage. His grandfather is legendary head coach, Louis Kelley, who is a member of the THSCA Hall of Honor after posting an impressive 240-90-1 record at Lubbock Dunbar and Lubbock Estacado over 30 seasons.

Kelley III is the third assistant off the Lubbock Coronado coaching staff to earn a head coaching spot this spring joining Zach Birdwell, who took the Tioga job, and Taheric Brantley, who is now the head coach at Brownfield.

Coaching note 

Canyon ISD athletic director Toby Tucker announced on Thursday that a special board meeting/ press conference will be held at noon on Monday to announce the new Randall head football coach replacing Gaylon Selman who announced his retirement on May 4.

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