Steve Biera doesn't need to do any rebuilding at Shallowater.
He just needs to make sure the Mustangs continue their winning ways.
Biera, a 38-year-old Merkel native, was hired this week as Shallowater's baseball coach. The Mustangs are coming off their third regional quarterfinal appearance in a four-year span, and they graduated only one starter from a team that finished 23-9 this spring.
"Any time you can walk into a program like that, it's pretty exciting," Biera said. "There's always going to be some expectations you're going to have to play up to, but I'm excited about that challenge."
Biera replaces Kenny Border, who resigned after one season as head coach to focus on his role as Shallowater's middle school principal. Border had been an assistant coach to Mike Eckles, and he was thrust into the top spot when Eckles was suspended from his coaching duties less than two weeks before the start of the season.
Despite the hectic start to the year - Border's wife, Mendi, gave birth to their first child on opening day - the team finished second in District 3-2A and advanced to the third round of the playoffs.
"Personally, it was rewarding to see those kids succeed like they did," Border said. "We didn't achieve our ultimate goal (of winning a state championship), but we learned a great deal along the way."
Biera will try to pick up where Border left off, and he knows a thing or two about winning. This past season he guided Class 1A Hamlin to a district title and a trip to the regional quarterfinals, and he's made playoff appearances in nine of his 12 seasons as a head coach.
Biera, who also has coached at Plainview, Brownfield and Dallas Winston, has a career record of 164-127-1 and is a former president of the Greater West Texas Baseball Coaches Association. He'll be ushering the Mustangs back into 3A competition after they spent the last eight school years at the 2A level.
"He seemed like a great fit for Shallowater ISD and our baseball program," said Shallowater athletic director Kyle Maxfield, who will have Biera on his football coaching staff. "He's coached at the 3A and 4A level as a head baseball coach, and seemed to bring a lot to the table as far as dealing with kids and having success with the programs he's been involved with. He brings a great attitude, and we just look forward to more success."
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HIGH SCHOOLS/Former Plainview, Brownfield coach returns to South Plains