Hutto High volleyball coach Janiece Nelson, who led the Lady Hippos to a state championship in 1999 and has more than 600 career victories at the school, has been reassigned as an athletic coordinator at one of the district’s middle schools.
Nelson said she learned of the move during a meeting with school district superintendent Douglas Killian and human resources director Sherri Rector on May 31.
Nelson, who has a 602-293 record in 26 years at Hutto, said Wednesday that she was “extremely disappointed” by Killian’s decision, adding, “I didn’t do anything illegal.”
Killian could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
Nelson said she wants her job back, and she has hired an attorney. She did not say whether she planned to file a grievance against the district.
As the athletic coordinator for girls sports at Hutto, Nelson saw Lady Hippos teams in every sport qualify for the UIL playoffs in each of the past two years, she said. She also led Hutto to the Class 2A state title in volleyball in 1999.
“I’m not disappointed just because of losing the job,” she said. “I’m just as disappointed I won’t be able to coach these kids. I was really looking forward to coaching my niece (Taylor Gray) in her senior season this fall.”
Nelson’s reassignment was the latest change in a shakeup within Hutto High’s athletic department this spring. After football coach Steve Hale was selected to be the Hutto school district’s athletic director on March 18, district officials rescinded that decision the following day, Hale said, after they received a complaint about his hiring.
Hale said the decision led him to look for a position elsewhere, and he became the head coach and athletic director at Medina Valley High in April.
“I got a better job,” said Hale, who took five Hutto assistant coaches with him to his new school. Hale added he had a “good relationship” with district officials in Hutto and was not bitter about how his tenure there ended.
On May 1, school district officials named Steve Van Meter as Hutto’s new head football coach and athletic director. Van Meter, 55, spent two decades coaching at Friendswood High School, posting a 148-80-1 record before retiring in January 2012.