The athletic stipends for the Kingsville Independent School District have officially been approved for the 2019-20 school year, following a vote at the July 11 Board of Trustees meeting.

The KISD board voted 5-1 to approve the athletic stipends following minor adjustments made by the KISD’s new athletic director, Michael Davila.

The KISD board discussed both athletic and academic stipends for teachers and administrators during board workshops held June 24 and July 9. Davila attended the July 9 workshop, along with several of the district’s coaching staff.

“I told the board that I was going to be the head football coach and the head baseball coach so the stipend for the head baseball coach was going to be a freebie,” Davila said in an interview on Tuesday. “So that saved ($5,000).”

Davila said the adjustments and cuts were minimal and he was glad he was able to work with the school board in order to free up some money for new positions, and adjust the pay to a $500 pay increase for his special teams coordinator, while lowering five of the assistant coaching positions on the football team.

Assistant Superintendent Kamara Adams said during the July 9 workshop that the district had budgeted $292,500 for athletic stipends and $533,300 for academic stipends, but added that those amounts were the “board approved allowable” rather than what was actually paid.

“We haven’t spent all of that, but it’s not a whole lot less than that,” Adams said.

Adams said at the KISD board meeting last week there was at least a $7,000 change in the stipends for this year, with all the adjustments made by Davila.

Davila said it was important that the board approved the stipends at this time of year because the school year is close to getting started, and he can use the stipends in his “recruitment pitches” to attract new coaches to the district.

“Coaches want to know that bottom line; they want to know, ‘Am I going to have the same salary? Is it going to be a little bit different?’ That’s what they’re looking for,” Davila said. “So if we can compete with that, and get them to even money, or even more money, then we have a better shot to compete with other schools that are also trying to recruit those same coaches for either head coaching positions, or just fill ins for assistants in the athletic department. So, yeah, it’s important.”

Davila said after the meeting last week, he was able to contact a few of his choices for possible coaching positions, and is in the process of filling vacancies.

“We’re almost where we need to be,” Davila added.

The board resumed discussion on academic stipends during Monday’s regular meeting, but tabled taking action in a 6-1 vote, with board vice-president Brandon Greenwood voting against. 

Board secretary Corando Garza, who made the motion to table, said the board has until Aug. 29 to approve the 2019-20 stipends. Adams said she wanted it to be clear, however, that any employees under a 12-month contract – which includes “all directors and above” – would have to pay the district back for the July pay period “out of their pocket,” should any of their stipends be changed.

Board president Brian Coufal said discussion would resume at the board’s special meeting scheduled for Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Anthony Ruiz contributed to this report.

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