By Clay Whittington

The Belton Journal

For the first time in six years, the Tigers are searching for a new boys basketball coach.

After helping revive the program, which had not reached the playoffs since 2004 prior to his arrival, Jason Fossett recently stepped down from his position as head coach in order to assume the same role at Killeen Harker Heights.

While he believed the move was necessary, the decision was admittedly not easy for Fossett.

“It was really tough talking to the kids about it,” he said. “Honestly, it was the toughest night of my coaching career. It is a learning part of life, though.

“Those things happen, and change is inevitable in life. It is really about how you respond to that change, and I told them that if they keep working hard and keep doing what they are doing then Belton will keep having success.”

During his tenure, the Tigers reached the playoffs four times and won a district championship. Overall, he departs with a record of 138-66 at Belton with the team producing a school-record 30 victories last season, which ended in the third round of the postseason.

In 23 years as a coach, Fossett amassed 509 wins with stops at McGregor, Hearne, Austin Crockett, Killeen, Ponder and Flower Mound. While overseeing the Kangaroos, he won six consecutive district championships in seven years.

Along with Fossett, former players T.J. Johnson and Trap Johnson, who both signed NCAA Division I programs, were instrumental in helping the team transform its fortunes.

The Tigers won at least 22 games four times in Fossett’s six years.

Although he hopes to continue the success at Harker Heights, where he will be the team’s fourth head coach in four years, Fossett will always cherish his time at Belton.

“I’m very proud of what we accomplished at Belton,” he said. “We had four playoff appearances, won a district championship and won playoff games in each of the last two years. We beat (state powerhouse) Killeen Ellison three times in the last three years.

“There is a lot to be proud of during the last six years. The gym was redone, and the locker rooms were redone, so Belton basketball is in a very good place right now.”