Back in the summer of 2014, Bearcat Nation was rocked as longtime head coach Tim Buchanan resigned his post as 22-year head coach/athletic director to focus solely on his athletic director duties.
As a result, longtime defensive coordinator Steve Wood was promoted to head coach, where he would proceed to win three state championships in the next five years, including four appearances in the state-championship game
This morning, the worm turned.
In an incredible announcement issued this morning by Aledo ISD, Wood will be promoted to athletic director pending school board approval on Jan. 22 and if the board approves Wood’s promotion Buchanan will return to the Bearcats’ sidelines and retain his head-coaching duties.
The Aledo ISD press released this morning reads:
Aledo ISD is working toward realigning leadership roles in its athletic department and football program.
Superintendent Dr. Susan K. Bohn plans to recommend to the Aledo ISD Board of Trustees that head football coach Steve Wood be hired as the district’s athletic director. If this move is approved by the Board, current athletic director and former coach Tim Buchanan will return to the sidelines in 2019 as the Bearcats head football coach. Pending School Board approval at the January 22 regular meeting, the position changes are expected to be effective January 28.
“When I learned Coach Wood was interested in the AD position after Coach Buc announced his planned retirement, and then later came to understand, after working with him for several months, that Coach Buchanan was interested in coaching again, I approached the two of them about this potential change in leadership roles,” Dr. Bohn said. “I was thrilled when they expressed an interest in this possibility.
“They are excellent leaders and we are excited about this transition for both of them, our entire coaching staff and our student athletes. The continuity in the expectation of excellence in all of our programs is so important for our students and our community. This change is a way to carry on the tradition of success in Aledo ISD student programs.”
Wood led the Bearcats to a state-record tying eighth state championship in December and the program’s seventh in the past decade. In 2014, Wood replaced Buchanan, who moved to full-time athletic director as the district and athletic programs grew and shifted into Class 5A. Wood, a former Buchanan assistant, built on the successful tradition with three state championships (2014, 2016, 2018), four title-game appearances and a 75-4 record in five seasons.
Wood has coached football, basketball, track and powerlifting during his 36-year career, and has served in Aledo the past 16 years. His previous stops include Boswell, Pasadena Dobie and Port Lavaca Calhoun high schools.
If approved, Wood’s focus would shift to athletic director and overseeing all of Aledo’s successful athletic programs, which contributed to a fourth-place finish last year in the University Interscholastic League’s Class 5A Lone Star Cup Award standings.
“I am beyond excited about the opportunity to transition into the role of Athletic Director,” Wood said. “Aledo has been a very special place for me and my family and I want to do all I can to see that it stays that way for as long as possible. My hope is to give our athletes and coaches in all sports the best possible environment and opportunity for success. I look forward to many great things ahead for all our of programs.”
Buchanan, who had previously planned to retire this month, would return to his former role in late January and lead spring practices. Buchanan is regarded as the architect of Bearcat football, which he led to five state championships, a 227-53-3 record and established Aledo as one of the state’s most prestigious programs. In February 2018 he announced his retirement, but opted to stay through the fall semester at the request of Dr. Bohn, who joined the district in June 2018.
“In my time as the full-time Athletic Director, I have come to realize how much I have missed coaching,” Buchanan said. “This led me to announce my intention to retire last spring. The chance to coach again in Aledo ISD is something I couldn’t turn down.”
Buchanan took his first head coaching job in Aledo in 1993 and has served in the district 25 years. He took the Bearcats from a struggling program to a regular championship contender. He led Aledo to its first title in 1998 and followed with titles in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.