As you read in What I hear... a week earlier...Clifton coach Shawn Bell has been approved as head coach at Magnolia West..From the Magnolia Potpourri By Jack Marrion
The Magnolia Independent School District took less than a month to fill the head football coach and athletic coordinator vacancy at Magnolia West. In return it landed a coach on the fast track in Texas high school athletics.
Former Baylor quarterback and 2009 Clifton High School football coach and athletic director Shawn Bell has been hired as Mustangs coach. The MISD board approved the move in a special meeting the morning of Feb. 12.
Bell, who completed his undergraduate studies at Baylor in 2006 and received a Master of Science in Education from the university in 2007, joins MISD after positions at Clifton, China Spring High School and Round Rock Stony Point High School.
MISD Superintendent Todd Stephens cited Bell's "coaching pedigree" as a factor in the district's decision.
"He grew up in Texas high school football," Stephens said. "His father was his coach. His playing background at Baylor, particularly as a quarterback. Just what I've heard from everyone I've spoken with about his character and integrity, he's the kind of person we're excited about having for our kids and our program."
As a player, Bell was an all-state selection during a stellar high school career at Class 3A power China Spring. He finished ranked third in Texas high school history with 8,437 passing yards.
At Baylor, Bell became the starting quarterback during his sophomore season and went on to set 25 Bears passing records. He still holds career marks for touchdown passes (38), completions (559) and completion percentage (61.2).
Off the field Bell was a two-time Big 12 All-Academic selection and twice made the Dean's List at Baylor.
Bell started his coaching career as wide receivers coach at Stony Point, followed by a stint as offensive coordinator at China Spring. Bell, who guided Clifton to a 3-7 record this past season, met MISD administrators and board members, as well as Mustangs players Feb. 12.
"I want to be an impact person who makes a difference as a positive influence in the lives of students and athletes," Bell said in an MISD press release. "I want to be part of a quality, productive school and athletic program, and that's what I found here at Magnolia West."
Stephens said MISD received more than 90 applications for the position, which opened following Dave Joiner's resignation Jan. 13.
"You want to move pretty quick on these things," Stephens said. "The longer we go in the year you have a shorter time frame to prepare the kids. You have to look at spring football. It's better to get things decided so you don't have much lag time without leadership."
The Mustangs were 6-13 on the field including 4-6 in 2009 under Joiner, who served as head football coach during West's first two seasons of varsity competition. The team lost two of those victories to forfeits due to use of an ineligible player. West beat rival Magnolia High for the first time in Joiner's final game as coach.