DISD AD Ken Purcell praised UNT’s efforts to play Monday’s games

We finally got past that pesky regional final round of the state high school football playoffs. You know, that round that’s been delayed because of all this pesky ice on the roads.

Ryan and Guyer played their respective regional final games yesterday in a “doubleheader” at North Texas’ Apogee Stadium (the Ryan game started at 3 p.m., Guyer at 7:30 p.m.)

Denton ISD Ken Purcell had great things to say about the folks at UNT and Derek Grice, the head of facilities at UNT.


As of Monday morning, this is what the field looked like:

And when I showed up to the stadium, the field looked like this:

Purcell flagged me down in the press box at Apogee and emphatically praised UNT and Grice.

“We started working Thursday on sites, when the storm blew in,” Purcell said. “And the University of North Texas has been super. Some people are a little bit bothered by the parking lots and the stands and all that. But yesterday, there was four inches of snow and ice on there. In fact, at 7 o’clock [Monday] morning, there were four inches of snow and ice on there.

“And I was out here and I watched them. They rented tractors and everything to make sure this field is playable, and I’m just amazed at how good this field looks.”

Guyer originally was going to play at Justin Northwest, but that game was moved to Apogee and was scheduled after the Ryan game. It was highly important to get the games in on Monday, because the UIL says five days must be between football games.

The UNT athletic department staff also scraped off a section of the bleachers on the student side of the stadium so fans could enjoy a couple of pretty good games.


The clock is now ticking on DISD AD Ken Purcell

Denton ISD AD Ken Purcell, pictured here in 2004, said on Monday he's planning to retire at the end of the year.

In today’s paper, we wrote a story on Denton ISD assistant athletic director Russ Reeves was named as the new athletic director at Rockwall. Former Rockwall ADs include Mickey Florence, the father of Ryan head football coach Joey Florence.

At the end of the story there were a couple of quotes from current Denton ISD athletic director Ken Purcell. From what I understand, Purcell has hinted at hanging up his wide-brimmed hat for a very, very long time now.

Purcell, 65, said yesterday he’s planning on retiring after the 2013 football season. Well, here’s exactly what he said:

“My plan is to retire next December after football season,” Purcell said. “When we get out for the Christmas holidays, I’ll probably be through. And whoever takes my place should, I feel, be able to hire his own assistant.

“For me to hire an assistant that works for me for seven months, I just don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Now, it’s been no secret around town that Purcell’s departure has been imminent. He’s held the position for 16 years seen the district’s athletic programs take giant steps. But with Buck Smith holding only an interim title, it’s seems like a concrete step has been made, that this time Purcell will be ready to call it quits and have somebody else take over where he left off.

Personally, the odds of Purcell changing his mind, staying another year and naming Smith the permanent assistant athletic director are pretty slim. Purcell said Smith acknowledged he was basically coming in for a finite period of time that’s been predetermined.

So when Purcell retires and his place is taken, it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out and what the trickle effect ends up becoming once the 65-year-old finally hangs up that wide-brimmed hat.