The Wylie East High School athletics department will look a little different in the 2023-24 calendar year, with the appointment of three new coaches.
The Raiders are replacing their cross country, boys soccer and boys basketball coaches for next season, appointing three coaches with plenty of accolades and experience to share.
In the fall sports season, Luke Scribner takes over as the Wylie East cross country coach, coming over from Frisco Reedy last season. Before being a head coach at Reedy, Scribner ran track and field and cross country at Tarleton State University before coaching at Melissa High School and Texas A&M Commerce.
After leading Reedy to a third-place finish at state last season, Scribner is ready to turn around the Wylie East program. A graduate of Farmersville High School, the opportunity to work a little closer to home at Wylie East was appealing to Scribner, along with working at the 6A high school sports level.
“Wylie really has a small-town sort of atmosphere that I love to be around,” Scribner said. “I’ve had a lot of success throughout my career thus far and I’m hoping to do the same thing at Wylie East. Coach [Marcus] Gold has been very supportive, and I’ve heard great things from the people who work with him.”
Wylie East finished second in both the boys and girls district championships last season, as the team hopes to become even more competitive with Wylie one of the top teams in the state.
“I believe we can make it to the state championship as a team for cross country,” Scribner said. “Wylie East has never done that and that’s something I want to strive toward, and it starts with expectations to do that year after year. Coach [Calley] Conner did it at Wylie, and we have a lot of the same talent and have that same winning mindset.”
Two new head coaches will be in winter sports, with Trey Vaut taking over the boys soccer program.
Vaut was a standout soccer player at Oral Roberts University as one of the top scorers and the only men’s soccer player in the ORU Hall of Fame. After five years in college soccer, he made his way around the coaching ranks, including as an assistant coach at the Wylie girls soccer team, before he returned to Garland ISD, where he coached Garland High School for the last few seasons. He helped the team win one of their first playoff games in school history.
“I’ve had some change over the last few years, and I wanted to find a place with good culture and high expectations, and I knew a few of the coaches at Wylie East,” Vaut said. “Once I had the opportunity to meet with the staff, I knew it would be a good fit for me.”
The Raiders just missed out on the playoffs last season in a competitive District 9-6A that had two regional semifinalists, and coach Vaut knows the district well and knows the team will have their hands full.
“I know they’ve had some success at the 5A level,” Vaut said. “I think it’s a great change and I’ve been around some great people on the Wylie East staff that were supportive. I know this is the place I need to be.”
Wylie East also appointed Kortney Smith as the new head boys basketball coach. Smith moves across town after spending the last few seasons as the assistant coach at Wylie High School and joins Wylie East in a district he knows well.
“I thought I did a lot of great things at Wylie High, but now it’s time to move across town and touch some more lives,” Smith said. “I think I’m prepared for any district, but it’ll be fun to play some of the guys I’ve seen over the years. I’ve had head coaching experience in the past, but the timing was everything with this chance and I’m excited to get started.”
Smith played basketball at Lancaster High School and later in college at Oklahoma Baptist. Watching Wylie East twice in head-to-head action last season, he’s excited to see what the team can do in the 2023-24 season.
“We have a lot of speed and experience on this team, plus some guys who didn’t play a lot last year that I think can come on and make some noise for us,” Smith said. “I hope to help these guys develop and push them forward to get a college-like experience.”
For more sports, subscribe to our newspaper here.
For additional sports pictures, see here.