Carl “Hank” Semler has been selected as the new head football coach at Aldine High School, replacing James Kowalewski, who resigned in November of 2016 to enter private business.
Semler brings 23 years of coaching experience with him to the Mustangs, and spent the 2016 season serving as the Mustangs’ defensive line coach.
Semler has three years of head coaching experience as he ran the North Forney High School program from 2008-10, earning one playoff appearance.
Semler, 45 and a graduate of Texas Tech University, has also coached at Hurst-Euless-Bedford High School, Keller High School, South Lake Carroll High School, Euless Trinity High School, Porter High School and Willowridge High School.
While at South Lake Carroll, one of the state’s most successful programs, he was part of a staff that won four state titles between 2000-2007.
The Mustangs are coming off a 0-10 season and Semler said he and his staff will work diligently to bring Aldine High back to respectability.
“I’m committed to bringing it (the program) back and going beyond what’s been achieved here,” he said. “We have our work cut out for us, but we look forward to the challenge.”
The Fort Worth native has coached on both sides of the ball and has a vast amount of experience. Growing up the son of a head football coach is also a plus, Semler said.
“My father coached for 45 years, so I grew up around the profession,” he said. “He has been a huge influence on me. We talk every day.”
Semler said the Mustangs will continue to run a spread offense, but will also tweak it a bit with some I-formation. Defensively, the Mustangs will run an even front and ask their defensive backs to play man coverage.
Besides his father, Semler said the coaches who had the most influence on him were John Randle at Euless Trinity, Todd Dodge at Southlake Carroll (currently the head football coach at Austin Westlake), Steve Lineweaver at Euless Trinity and Richard Lazaro at Willowridge.
“I’ve learned a lot from all of them, but the most important thing I’ve learned over the last 23 years is if you worry about the person first, the athlete will come along. I’ve also learned that one percent of this job is what you do on the field, and 99 percent of this job are the relationships you develop with your players.”
Semler said spending a year with the program has made the transition to head coach smooth and he’s excited about the future of Aldine Mustang football.
“Becoming the head coach of this program has been a humbling experience,” Semler said.
And he will turn to the man who built the program into prominence, former head coach Bill Smith, for input as well. Smith served as the Mustangs’ head football coach for 29 years and led Aldine High to 237 victories (at the time of his retirement in December of 2003, Smith had the fifth most victories all-time among Class 5A coaches in Texas). He also led the Mustangs to the Class 5A state and national titles in 1990 and a perfect 15-0 season. Smith also led the Mustangs to the state semi-finals in 1991 and 1996.
“I want coach Smith to continue to be a part of the program and look forward to his input.”
Semler said he and his staff will focus on developing character with their players.
“Short term, we will place a heavy emphasis on character,” Semler said. “We want our kids to understand what it is to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves. We want to develop a ‘gung ho’ attitude around here.”
Semler and his wife Meghan, an English teacher at Porter High School, have two children, Alex, a college student in California, and Evelyn, who is a sophomore at Porter High School.
Semler is excited about his new position and is ready to hit the ground running.
“I’m chomping at the bit to get things turned around,” he said. “We want to reach out to the community and have them become involved in the program. They can pick up the phone and call me at any time.”
Director of Public Information Aldine ISD
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