Baseball program under new leadership with hiring of Howard


Sally Parampottil

New Coppell head baseball coach Ryan Howard meets with players and parents on July 1 in the CHS fieldhouse. Howard previously worked at Lake Dallas High School for three years as head coach.

Sally Parampottil, Executive Sports Editor

Coppell High School baseball players and parents were able to meet their new head coach, Ryan Howard, for the first time on Monday at the CHS fieldhouse. Howard, who was assistant varsity coach at MacArthur High School and L.D. Bell High School and most recently head coach at Lake Dallas High School for three years, replaces retired head coach Kendall Clark.

“[Clark] let me know [of his retirement] with about a week and a half left of school,” Coppell ISD Athletic Director Kit Pehl said. “As soon as I received his resignation, a few days later, we went ahead and posted the job. We started the process right then and there.” 

The job was so popular that the number of applicants had to be narrowed. Pehl did heavy amounts of screening, calling and reference checking.

After two rounds of interviews, Howard stood out as the best choice.

“As we started looking at all the attributes that we were looking for in our coach, baseball was just one of them,” Pehl said. “We had so many talented candidates, but the culture piece and the relationship piece that our coach is going to bring our baseball program is where [Howard] divided himself from the rest.” 

Howard is one of four new members of the Coppell baseball staff. Other newcomers include incoming assistant coaches Bayley Novak and Lincoln Hanke. The only returning member is assistant coach Clint Rushing.

Howard was able to meet some of the incoming freshmen during baseball camp, but a majority of the players he saw on Monday were new faces. After a brief introductory speech, Howard met with each parent and player, exhibiting the relationship piece that had set him apart from other applicants. 

“This is a special place,” Howard said. “Within the baseball world in the state of Texas, everyone knows Coppell. You say ‘Coppell baseball’ and everyone understands it’s a very high caliber baseball program. When this came open and I got it, it was very very exciting.” 

The players and parents at the meeting received an 11-page packet Howard wrote describing his rules, expectations and philosophies, for both parents and kids, offense, defense and pitching.

“He’s really excited to be here, and I’m excited for him to be my coach,” CHS junior pitcher Matthew Cashimere said. “I read some of his program, and I like his philosophies. I like his pitching philosophy, just because that’s my main position, and I think he’s right on just about everything in there.” 

In addition to on-the-field philosophies, Howard’s coaching methods include becoming a better person in everyday life. 

“I believe in building the champions before the championship is won,” Howard said. “I believe in building the man before building the athlete. If you can have a bunch of really talented guys to buy into a team concept that are selfless and that outwork every other team in the state of Texas, then the wins will take care of themselves.”

According to Howard’s packet, there is a fundamental responsibility to train athletes in the ways of championship baseball, but also an equally important task of shaping young men of character who will become leaders. 

“Number one is to have a program that helps build up young men and a complete person, socially, athletically and academically,” Howard said. “It is very important to me. I wanna be judged on what kind of men [the players] are when they’re 30, 35, 40 years old, what kind of husbands they are and what kind of fathers they are to their kids. That’s the long term goal, that’s the ultimate goal.”

Heading into the new school year, athletes can expect both character and muscle building.

“We’re going to come in and hit the weight room,” Howard said. “I’m a big believer in the weight room, I believe it gives you instant adversity with the weights, tells you a lot about the work ethic of your players, tells you a lot about the character of your players and what you have to work with. It shows you the physical strength, obviously, but it also shows a lot of mental strength, so we’re going to use that weight room quite a bit this fall.” 

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