Former Pioneer Coach Wheeler Surprised by Dismissal
(CBS 4 SPORTS) Sharyland ISD informed now former Sharyland Pioneer High School head football coach Jason Wheeeler that he was being reassigned. He learned the news after a meeting with the principal James Heath and Athletic Director Richard Thompson.
Thompson confirmed the reassignment to CBS 4 Sports on Friday and said that no interim head coach has been named and that Robert Bocanegra, the Pioneer's defensive coordinator will run the school's off-season program in the meantime.
"(Bocanegra), has great experience in running off-season programs and we are totally confident that he and our staff will do a great job," Thompson told CBS 4's Alex Del Barrio in a text message. "We have not yet set a time frame or the process on the hiring of a (new) football coach."
Wheeler told CBS 4 Sports that he was surprised by the news and the news also came as a shock to his players. He was given an opportunity to speak to his players before his dismissal.
"I spoke to the players on Thursday they were just as shocked and surprised as me I was never told anything before during or after season by any administrator about any concerns," Wheeler said. "I thanked my players and told them I would make sure they put a name plate on our District Championship trophy of 2016 and that every player's and coach's name is on it and that no one could take that away from us. I told them to keep working hard and to make history and go win a play off game next year."
Wheeler told CBS 4 Sports that he is not through coaching and will be applying for some head coaching jobs in the Rio Grande Valley. There are now two other openings in Edcouch Elsa and in Edinburg at North High School after Friday's reassignment of Rene Saenz.
Wheeler was the only coach in Pioneer history and he finished with a 23-19 record over four years. The Pioneers won a share of the District 31-A title in 2016 and made the playoffs this season. The Pioneers lost to Mercedes in the Bi-District round 68-31.