Rumors were spreading all over Henderson Friday April 2 that Head Coach and Athletic Director Phil Castles had been fired, reassigned and even quit his position.
On Monday April 5 Henderson ISD Administration finally confirmed that Coach Castles had been reassigned and is now Coordinator of Student Services. No other information was given at this time as to why the decision was made and who will serve as Henderson High School football coach and athletic director.
During the February HISD Trustee meeting had an action item on the agenda in a closed session revealing that contract renewals for administrative personnel were addressed for 20 administrators and were approved. Three administrator’s contracts were on placed on hold with Castles being one of those whose contract was not immediately approved. His contract would have ended in 2022 unless an agreement was made to extend it through 2023, as was the other two.
Coach Castles released a statement on Monday and said, “I am so thankful to our Lord for the opportunity to serve as Athletic Director and Head football Coach in Henderson for the last eight years. It has been a great school district, full of great people. What a blessing it has been to raise my family here, and develop lasting relationships with the kids, teachers, church and community. I want to thank all the student athletes and coaches who have worked so hard and represented Henderson with class and character. Thanks to all the parents, teachers, boosters, youth pastors, and community for pouring into all of our kids. I look forward to bright future for Henderson ISD.”
This has sent shockwaves throughout the community with many expressing unbelief at the reassignment of Castles.
HISD Booster Club President Kenneth Orr said, “First I was shocked beyond belief that Coach Castles had been reassigned. I think that the Administration and School Board has made a grave mistake. Phil Castles is probably the finest man I have ever known in my life. He is a Christian man that truly walks the walk in what he believes. Our kids, our school district and our community is loosing a great leader. The Castles family, have truly been a great asset to our community.”
The Henderson News will update this story as soon as more information is released.
A few of the highlights of Coach Castles football highlights at Henderson High School are head football coach from 2013 to 2020. His record was 62 wins and 33 losses.
In 2019 he was inducted into the Kilgore College Hall of Fame. In 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2014 he made Three-Time State Quarterfinalist. In 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2014 he had Four Bi-District Championships, and four Area Championships.
In 2017 he was Allen Wilson Coach of the Year. From 2017 to 2014 he had more wins over a four-year period than any staff in Henderson High School History. In 2017 he set a new school all-time record for individual player receiving yards in a game, 207 yards.
From 2016 and 2014 he had Two “District of Doom” Co-Championships. In 2016 he set a new school all-time record for points per game, at 45 in the game. In 2014 he was District Coach of the Year.
In 2016 and 2014 he beat Carthage (one of only 3 teams in the state to beat Carthage in the last 5 years).
Facility improvements while at Henderson were new stadium video scoreboard, turfed the game field, new stadium locker rooms, lights, bleachers, and press box, upgraded weight room equipment and flooring, basketball gym new flooring and lighting and bleachers.