After 15 years serving as assistant athletic director and head athletic trainer for the Stephenville ISD, Mike Carroll has accepted a similar position at Graham.

“We’ll miss Stephenville, and we’ll miss the friends we made here,” said Carroll, whose duties in Graham will begin in July. “It will be tough because we’ve been here 15 years.”

Carroll gave thanks to Athletic Director Mike Copeland and SHS Principal Stephanie Traweek for their “unwavering” support.

Carroll and his wife, DeNae, have two children — one boy and one girl. Nolan will be a senior in the fall, and DeLaney will be a freshman.

Longtime SHS Athletic Director Mike Copeland said, "I deeply appreciate the 16 years Mike has invested in Stephenville High School athletics, and I deeply appreciate all the things he has done for us. I wish him and DeNae all the best in their new grand adventure. He's been a great asset to me, with all of the things he's done for us."

Carroll said he decided to make the move because it felt right. He also noted that it will help that he knows several people in Graham already, including one of the assistant superintendents.

Carroll will be replacing one of his longtime friends, Tom Lewis, who tipped him off that he was leaving his post with the Graham ISD.

“I’ve known (Lewis) a long time. He’s a great friend,” said Carroll, who earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Virginia (1992), and a bachelor of science degree from Texas A&M University (1990). “I felt like it was a good fit. I wasn’t looking because Stephenville is such a great place. I think it was the right time.”

Carroll came to Stephenville in 2003 after the SHS head football coach at the time — Joe Gillespie — advised him that sometimes it’s good to get out of your comfort zone.

He said he came to SHS anticipating that he might get to witness the football team winning another state championship — something the Yellow Jackets had done four times in the 1990s. But instead, that first school year brought a state title in another sport — volleyball. He had to wait a few years — until the 2012 season — for the Jackets to add their fifth state football trophy.

“I’ve been very blessed,” Carroll said. “Stephenville has been a great place to raise my kids, and we’ve had really great athletic success.”

Carroll, who is nationally certified as an athletic trainer, was inducted into the Southwest Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame in 2016. He served as president of the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association in 2009-2010. Last year he was elected to a position on the Board of Certification with the National Athletic Trainers Association.

Previously, Carroll worked as athletic trainer in the Georgetown, Sweeny, Fort Bend and Waller ISDs.