Nixon-Smiley names Kirby as new head football coach


The Nixon-Smiley Mustangs will have a new head football coach for the 2024 season with a familiar face returning to the program.

Former Nixon-Smiley assistant coach Paul Kirby will be replacing former head coach Troy Moses, who stepped down; Kirby last season was the assistant coach for a La Vernia team that made it to the regional championship round.

“It's a great feeling. It's my big break, I think, to finally become a head football coach. And really, it's it's a blessing to get back to Nixon-Smiley to be with a bunch of really, really good athletic young men, so it's gonna be a great ride,” Kirby said.

Kirby, a Roosevelt High School graduate, has been part of football for 16 years and was coached by legendary head coach Glenn Hill.

“I was at Roosevelt High School in San Antonio, under Coach Glenn Hill, who I just adore. Wonderful, wonderful coach, probably one of the best coaches in the state of Texas at the time when I was playing. So I learned a lot from him as well,” Kirby said.

Kirby attended University of Mary Hardin-Baylor as a member of the offensive line under Pete Fredenburg, who had an influence on Kirby becoming a coach.

“That's where the biggest majority of my decision to become a football player came from because of those guys. I mean, a football coach anyways. So it was a really good time I live for the really, really successful program steered me to be where I'm at today,” Kirby said.

Nixon-Smiley athletic director Carlton McKinney was informed by Moses that he’ll be moving on to another district, but he appreciated what has Moses has done for the program.

“He's done a wonderful job for us. You know, we're very pleased with his time here with us. We had had a previous relationship; we were both on the same staff back in 2005 and Marcus Pena came in as the offensive coordinator,” McKinney said.

Nixon-Smiley CISD Superintendent Jeff Van Auken appreciated what Moses has done for the program for the last three years, he said.

“He did an outstanding job with both our football and track and field programs. We wish Coach Moses nothing but the best in his next position,” Van Auken said.

Kirby has ties to Gonzales County as he was an assistant with the Gonzales Apaches under Mike Waldie and Nixon-Smiley under Moses.

“From Gonzales High School to Nixon-Smiley High School to La Vernia and back, it's been a really, really good opportunity for me to grow as a coach to see the type of kids this area has. Under Mike Waldie, I learned a lot about football, both sides of the football, offensively and defensively and really gave me a shot to mold into what I am today,” Kirby said.

“I can't say enough about Troy [Moses] and his leadership and the amount of knowledge that Matt knows how much respect I have for him, given me that break that opportunity to become an offensive coordinator to learn the slot T and become, you know, part of that — it's a big deal to be accepted into that. And he is he's a godfather for that, that offense.

A new coach in a new district for the 2024 Mustangs, Kirby is excited for the season and facing the hurdles that are in his team’s path.

“The biggest challenge, I think it's gonna be, we're gonna see one of the best teams in the state of Texas with Poth. That's always a big hurdle. That's always the team to beat. So, but I know that under the kids we have, and I know this athleticism, I know the ability they have and they'll run through a wall if you to get them to believe in it. And that's the wall we want to hit,” Kirby said.