TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Tyler Legacy High School has begun looking for a new football coach after head man and athletic coordinator Joe Willis announced he will be retiring at the end of the year.

Willis has a career record as a head coach of 113 wins and 62 losses with four different schools. His teams made the playoffs 12 and out the 14 years, with six district championship, two state championship appearances and one state championship win.

He was officially named the Red Raiders head coach on January 30, 2020, after leaving Colleyville Heritage and is a graduate of ETBU in Marshall. He replaces Kurt Traylor who left to take a job with his brother Jeff at UTSA.

“I want to thank Tyler Legacy High School and the many wonderful players, teachers, and administrators I have been able to serve during that time. I am proud of the progress our staff and players have made over the past three seasons, including winning the first playoff game in the last eleven years and winning a bi-district championship the previous two seasons. I am especially proud of our program being recognized as a state finalist in a National High School Academic excellence award and seeing seven of our players achieve full scholarships to play football at the highest level.

Willis was named coach of the year six times, including Dave Campbell’s Texas High School Coach of the year in 2012.

“Tyler ISD Athletics would like to thank Coach Willis for his hard work, dedication, and commitment to Tyler Legacy High School and the student-athletes for the last three years,” Athletic Director Greg Priest said. “He has played an essential role in building the Tyler Legacy High Football program, and we wish him all the best in his new chapter ahead.”

WIllis says this was a difficult decision, but it will allow him to continue his education and pursue a second career.

The Tyler Lions are also in search of a new head football coach after head man Richlan Holmes announced he was resigning. His resignation is effective at the end of the contract year to “pursue new opportunities.” Holmes had served as the CUJO’s head coach since 2012 when he took over for Derek Rush after serving on staff for four years.

The Red Raiders went 2-8 on the season in 2022, with a 1-5 district record, with their wins coming against Tyler High and North Forney.