Copperas Cove ISD has named Jack Alvarez as its new head football coach and athletic director, following the abrupt departure of longtime employee Jack Welch.

Alvarez currently holds both those titles at Ennis High School in eastern Ellis County, where he took the Ennis Lions to three state championship appearances. He had a record of 60-25 at Ennis, winning the 2014 Class 5A Division II State Championship.

Before that, his name grew in prominence as the person who led Kirbyville to back-to-back state championship appearances in Class 2A. His first head coaching gig was at West Sabine High School in Sabine County.

“If you look at my past history, I’ve never really taken a program that’s been really on top," Alvarez said. "Things that we have been able to accomplish at Kirbyville and Ennis...I would love to take Cove deep in the playoffs.”

A special board meeting was held at Copperas Cove ISD Friday afternoon to finalize the decision.

Welch agreed to an $80,000 buyout this spring. He left May 1.