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Waco ISD names new head football coaches for Waco High, University High

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Posted at 4:26 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 17:28:35-05

WACO, TX — Waco ISD has named the new head football coaches for Waco High School and University High School.

Linden Heldt has been selected as the next head football coach/ athletic director for Waco High, while Kent Laster has been hired as the next head football coach/ athletic director for University High.

Heldt was previously the defensive coordinator for South Grand Prairie High School. In a press release, Waco ISD noted Heldt's units have been recognized as one of the top defenses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for six years.

“Coach Heldt has proven to be very successful playing against major 6A contenders like Duncanville and Mansfield,” Waco ISD Athletic Director Ed Love said. “The Lions have a tradition of strong defensive squads, and bringing in a defensive-minded head coach is a perfect fit to continue that legacy.”

Heldt's team made it to the playoffs in all six seasons. His defense also climbed from ranking 45th to clinching the number 7 spot for Division 6A.

"I cannot wait to be part of the Waco High tradition and family,” Heldt said. “Waco High has a bright future with a proactive leadership and a desire to compete athletically at the highest level. Dr. Kincannon and Coach Love have shown a strong commitment in the renovation of Paul Tyson Field and desire to bring the best and brightest coaches to Waco ISD. I'm excited to serve the community and students of Waco High.”

Laster previously served as the head football coach for Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. In less than two years, Laster's team earned the state's most improved record in 7A classification.

“Coach Laster has demonstrated that he builds successful programs,” Love said. “He’s turned around teams into district champions, and University is an ideal place to continue that success as he inherits a Trojan unit on the rise. And his experience coaching and recruiting at the college level will be a tremendous asset to our athletes.”

The now University High coach has over 22 years of coaching experience. He spent nine years at Frisco Heritage High School, where he managed the boys track and field team, and worked as an offensive coordinator and assistant football coach.

“My family and I are extremely excited to join the Waco ISD community,” Laster said. “I look forward to building on the past successes of University High School and the opportunity for my family to become proud members of the local community. My goal will be to build winners who can compete and be better citizens from their experiences as student athletes.”

“These two coaching positions received tremendous interest from across the state,” Waco ISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon said. “I appreciate the thoroughness of Coach Love and his leadership team for their diligence reviewing applications and interviewing finalists. I’m confident that Linden and Kent will provide solid leadership for our student athletes.”