SANTA FE – The board of trustees of the Santa Fe school district hired Mark Kanipes as the new athletic director and head football coach during a special meeting Friday.
Kanipes, most recently the defensive coordinator and assistant head football coach at Pearland High School, was one of two finalists for the position.
The other finalist was Larry McRae.
Kanipes, with 27 years of coaching experience, said he is ready to get to work.
“I’m excited about the job,” Kanipes said. “I appreciate the opportunity the Santa Fe ISD board of trustees and administration have given me. I’m ready to get the program started and hit the ground running.”
Kanipes coached at Pearland since 2005 and experienced yearly playoff appearances, including a Class 5A state title in 2010 and state title runner up in 2013.
Prior to Pearland, Kanipes coached at La Porte, Aldine MacArthur, Plano West, La Marque — where the Cougars won three state titles — and East Central high schools and Stephen F. Austin State University. Kanipes has been an assistant coach on four state football championship teams with two different teams and school districts.
Kanipes’ overall record of 235 wins and 49 losses is a direct result of his former positions as coach, district officials said in a release.
In 2012-2013, Kanipes was selected as the Greater Houston Football Coaches Association’s Assistant Coach of the Year.
Kanipes has been a speaker at many football clinics around the state, and he is also a member of the Texas High School Coaches Associational and the American Football Coaches Association.
Kanipes said he has been fortunate to have worked in some of the state’s best football programs. He worked with Alan Weddell at La Marque, Tony Heath at Pearland, T.J. Mills at La Porte and Mark Reeve at Plano West.
Kanipes’ football experience also includes playing football at Blinn Junior College and Stephen F. Austin State University.
Pearland head football coach Tony Heath said he expects Kanipes to be successful in his new position.
“Congratulations to Santa Fe ISD on the hiring of Mark Kanipes,” Heath said. “Without a doubt, you are getting a winner. I know with Mark’s leadership, he will be able to infuse the success he has been a part of at Pearland High School.”
Kanipes and his wife, Holly, have three children, Myles, Zach and Paige.