After winning 19 of 26 games the past two seasons and making the playoffs in each of his four years, Greg Winder’s contract was terminated on Monday in what was termed “an administrative decision,” according to SISD Superintendent Matt Underwood.
In December, Winder completed his fourth season as head coach of the Yellow Jackets, and was still under contract. Winder’s overall four-year record as the SHS head football coach was 26-22.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank Coach Winder for the hours and efforts that he devoted to the students of Stephenville High School,” Underwood said. “We wish him all the best, as he pursues other professional opportunities.”
Winder coached the Yellow Jackets to a 7-4 mark last season (2018), when they were eliminated in the second (area) round of the Class 4A Division I playoffs by Celina, 31-21.
The Jackets entered that 2018 season with high expectations featuring a talented group of rising seniors, many of whom had played key roles in a 12-3 campaign in 2017. That squad won a district championship and reached the state semifinals before falling to Kennedale. It was a remarkable run that had surprised some prognosticators after Winder’s teams had lost 15 of their first 22 games in his first two seasons as head coach.
His record in his first season as head coach for SHS, in 2015, was 4-7. That was followed by a 2016 mark of 3-8.
SHS faced an extremely tough non-district schedule in 2018, when they won three games and lost two. Then the Jackets won three of its four games in one of the best Class 4A Division I district alignments in the state, District 5-4A. The Jackets finished second to eventual state champion Waco La Vega (4-0), which went on to defeat Liberty Hill 35-21 for the title in December to finish 14-2.
The Jackets had opened the 2018 season ranked No. 5 in the state in the preseason Associated Press state rankings, but lost their regular-season opener to Argyle, which was ranked No. 2 at that time.
The previous season, Winder’s 2017 Jackets knocked off Argyle in the third round of the playoffs, when the Eagles were ranked third in the state and were previously undefeated (12-0).
Winder was offensive coordinator for SHS in the 2012 season when the team won the state championship — the fifth state championship in the schools’ history, all since the first of Art Briles’ four championships, which came in 1993.
That 2012 state title run was a 13-1 season under former head coach Joseph Gillespie. After Gillespie left SHS to take a collegiate job on the coaching staff at Tulsa, Winder was promoted to head coach.
Winder had been a longtime SHS football assistant, having been first hired in 2002. He left Stephenville in 2004 for The Colony, where he spent four seasons, but returned to SHS in time for the 2008 campaign when Gillespie hired him to be his offensive coordinator.