MISSION — Sharyland ISD athletic director Richard Thompson announced his retirement Monday during a Sharyland ISD school board meeting after spending more than 40 years with the district as a coach and athletic administrator.

“When you put kids always first, you never lose. That’s what I found a long time ago when I got into this business, and I wanted to get into this business because I wanted to make a positive difference in young people’s lives,” Thompson said during Monday’s board meeting.

Sharyland ISD also named Sharyland High football head coach and athletic coordinator Ron Adame as the new athletic director, along with Sharyland Pioneer football head coach Tom Lee as the new assistant athletic director.

During his nine years at the helm of the Sharyland High football program, Adame coached the Rattlers to a 75-28 overall record, eight consecutive playoff appearances and nine postseason wins.

“It’s going to be tough not having coach Thompson around on a day-to-day basis. There’s a big part of me that does not want to see him leave, the selfish part of me; but at the same time, this gentleman has provided so many years of service to the students of this school district and to the administration, and he deserves to enjoy his retirement,” Adame said during the board meeting. “I’ve been in this district 25 years and I’ve poured my heart and soul into the students of this school district and I am going to continue doing this. I want to thank you for this opportunity that I’ve been given and we’re expecting and hoping for continued leadership in our athletic department.”

During his three years leading the Sharyland Pioneer football program, Lee coached the Diamondbacks to a 26-7 record overall, two consecutive District 16-5A DII championships, and five playoff wins.

“I’ve loved the last three years coaching football at Sharyland Pioneer and I’ve loved my seven years as the athletic coordinator. I know both of us are just excited to be able to move now in a direction and take what we’ve gotten from Coach Thompson and put our own little stamp on it and continue the success that we’ve had,” Lee said.

Sharyland superintendent Maria M. Vidaurri said when the school board interviewed Adame and Lee for the athletic director and assistant athletic director positions, they felt Thompson’s presence, vision, structure, discipline, and most importantly, the love for Sharyland ISD student athletes.

“It truly does take a whole team to be successful and I think we’ve been able to do that, and that’s just because the school board, the superintendent and the administration and principals have been very supportive of athletics because they see the value that it has in the whole overall educational process,” Thompson said. “That’s not the most important one, but it certainly is very important to the success of our school.”

Both football head coach positions are open at Sharyland High and Sharyland Pioneer. That makes six across the RGV along with Brownsville Veterans, Edinburg Economedes, Edinburg High and PSJA Memorial.