AGUA DULCE — Agua Dulce didn't have to go far to find a new head football coach.

Out of a field of some 80 candidates from around the state, Agua Dulce selected Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco High School offensive coordinator Robert Beard as the program's head coach and athletic director.

The Agua Dulce school board made the decision at a meeting Tuesday night. Beard replaces Albert Byrom, who headed up the Agua Dulce program through the last two years. Through the two seasons, the Longhorns were a combined 2-17 in football.

Beard spent the last seven seasons at Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco. He had a hand around the entire athletic program and informally served as assistant athletic director. In football, he was the Badgers' offensive coordinator.

Agua Dulce superintendent Dr. Russ Perry said Beard's experience in the Class 1A level and his familiarity with Agua Dulce made him a logical choice.

“We feel that he has the experience that we need and the attitude that we need to be successful,” he said. “He comes from a 1A program and he's in the area, so he's familiar with our program. He's also very optimistic about what our program can accomplish.”

Beard, 38, said the entire Agua Dulce athletic program is loaded with talent and ability.”

“I know the kids and I've seen the potential there,” Beard said. “I think the boys and girls at Agua Dulce have tremendous potential. I think it's just a matter of tapping into it and getting it out.”

Perry said his goal for Beard is to improve on the overall quality of the school's athletic program.

“Right now, the game plan is to focus on just building up the quality of the program and improving on what we have,” Perry said. “We want him to focus on the quality of the boys and girls programs rather than expanding. We want things to remain positive, and we want our program to offer things which will be beneficial to our students.”

With Byrom's departure, the Agua Dulce athletic department lost a handful of assistant coaches. Perry said Beard will have input on the hiring of assistants.

Before arriving at Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco, Beard was the offensive coordinator at Eagle Pass High School for three seasons. He began his coaching career at Mabank High School. He spent two seasons there.

A graduate of La Vega High School in Waco, Beard played college football at Sol Ross and Ranger Junior College.

The following is a list of Agua Dulce's head football coaches through the last 10 years and their records:

2011: 1-9, Albert Byrom

2010: 1-8, Albert Byrom

2009: 4-5, Kelly Black

2008: 2-7, Kelly Black

2007: 3-7, Don Grosbach

2006: 1-8, Don Grosbach

2005: 6-4, Don Grosbach

2004: 3-7, Don Grosbach

2003: 1-9, Ty Robinson

2002: 6-4, Ty Robinson