EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Two months before the start of the 2022 high school football season, Parkland has a new head football coach.

Leigh McWhorter, who was the offensive coordinator at Franklin in 2021 and also served as the Cougars’ acting head coach in place of Daren Walker early in the season, has been hired to coach the Matadors, sources told KTSM on Tuesday.

McWhorter was officially introduced in a ceremony at Parkland on Thursday, where he got to meet his Matador players for the first time. His first official day on the job will be Friday, July 1.

The Parkland job will be McWhorter’s first as a head coach, as he steps in to replace Eric Frontz, who left to take an assistant athletic director job at Socorro Independent School District.

McWhorter told KTSM on Thursday that his decision to take the job was not made lightly and that Parkland is the perfect situation for him.

“This is a big deal for me. I was at a good place and I wouldn’t have left for just any opportunity,” McWhorter said. “Coming back to the northeast, knowing what a tight-knit community Parkland is, what a special and talented group it is, year in and year out the expectations are high. I think last year stepping in as the interim head coach it really prepped me for this year and solidified my confidence as far as being ready.”

The Matadors have been one of the most successful teams in El Paso over the last five years, winning five straight Bi-District championships. McWhorter will take over a program that features two Power-5 recruits in wide receiver DJ Crest (Texas Tech) and offensive lineman Tyrone McDuffie III (Colorado).

A wide receiver at UTEP from 1995-1998, McWhorter has plenty of coaching experience and has been very successful. He helped the Cougars to a District 1-6A championship in 2021, as a dynamic Franklin offense averaged 39 points per game.

Prior to coming to Franklin, McWhorter spent five years as the offensive coordinator at Los Fresnos High School. He’s also made stops at Andress, Chapin and San Antonio Sam Houston.

With just two months before the start of the high school football season, McWhorter will be busy preparing for his first year as a varsity head coach as the Matadors move up from Class 5A Division II to 5A D-I. Regardless, expect Parkland to challenge for a district championship again in 2022 with McWhorter at the helm and a talented roster at his disposal.