By Todd Wills
Corsicana Daily Sun
The Navarro football coaching search came down to finding the best person to keep the program rolling after 51 wins in the last five seasons.
So the college turned to a former assistant coach who was a key part of the beginning of Navarro’s stellar five-year run.
Navarro named former assistant Brian Mayper as its new football coach, athletic director Roark Montgomery announced Tuesday.
Mayper replaces Nick Bobeck, who took the head coaching job at his alma mater Central Oklahoma earlier this month after winning 42 games and the 2010 NJCAA national championship with the Bulldogs.
Mayper, who spent 2007 on the Bulldogs’ coaching staff along with then offensive coordinator Bobeck, was in Corsicana on Tuesday and met with the team in the afternoon. He is already getting ready to host recruits — several prospects will be on Navarro’s campus on Wednesday with national signing day only a week away.
Even though Mayper spent one lone season at Navarro, he said Tuesday he feels like he is coming home again.
“We got it turned around here four years ago,” Mayper said. “Nick and I combined on offense to make it one of the top scoring offenses in Navarro history.”
Mayper was an assistant coach at Navarro in 2007 under Ray Woodard when the Bulldogs finished the season No. 4 in the country. He has been with Woodard in the same capacity at Lamar University the last four seasons.
Mayper was the associate head coach and special teams coach at Navarro and Lamar. The Bulldogs went 9-3 in 2007 and beat Georgia Military in the Pilgrim’s Pride Bowl. They ranked third nationally in total offense (444.6 ypg), fourth in rushing offense (250.5 ypg) and 16th in passing offense (194.2 ypg), while scoring a school-record 428 points (35.7 ppg) in 2007.
Mayper was the runnerup to Bobeck in 2008 when he was picked to replace Woodard.
Mayper contacted Navarro athletic director Roark Montgomery about interviewing once again for the job. The college interviewed seven candidates, and Montgomery and Dr. Richard Sanchez met Monday to finalize their choice.
Mayper was the selection over other well respected candidates, Montgomery said.
Mayper impressed with what he had learned while being with Woodard at Lamar, which is making the transition to Division I football.
“You can tell just being around him in the interview that he has had more administrative experience,” Montgomery said.
Mayper is considered to be an excellent recruiter, Montgomery said.
In addition to being at Navarro and Lamar, he was an assistant coach at Howard Payne in Brownwood and also at Frisco High School in the Metroplex area. Mayper is from Houston area — he was a three-sport letterwinner at Alief Elsik High School — and he went on to Sam Houston State, where he graduated with two degrees.
Mayper is credited with recruiting several of Navarro’s top players off of its 2007-09 teams, including tight end Chase Harper, who went on to sign with Nebraska.
“When Brian was here, he recruited some great players,” Montgomery said. “He brought in a number of the players that contributed to their success that year but also to Nick’s success the next year. He has proven he can recruit.
“That’s a real strong suit. He’s real familiar. He’s recruiting Texas high schools right now.”
Strong recruiting has allowed Navarro to average 10 wins the last five years and win another bowl game this past season.
“You don’t have to come here to reinvent the wheel,” Montgomery said. “We have all but one offensive lineman returning. We’ve brought in four or five good transfers at the break. Our coaches have done a good job of keeping the recruiting class together.”
Mayper and his wife, Theresa, have been married 15 years and have two daughters, Myka and Mia.
He said Tuesday he is excited about bringing his family to Corsicana and continuing the winning tradition at Navarro.
“This is definitely a place where you can win year in and year out,” Mayper said. “We plan to do with class and integrity and graduating our players.”