BLANKET — A familiar face is returning as Tyler Tabor has ended his one-year retirement to again become head football coach and athletic director at Blanket High School.

Tabor will replace Brent Williamson, who took the same position at his alma mater of Zephyr High School after one season at Blanket, where he followed Tabor.

“I missed coaching, I missed those kids and I'm excited about returning to coaching,” Tabor said. “Sitting at home on Friday night is just not in my blood. I'm ready to get after it again. I'm renewed a little bit, the batteries are charged up and it's going to be an exciting year for me personally. I think we're going to have a great year.

“I also wish Brent all the luck and success in the world. He's going back to his hometown and I know he's excited about that as well.”

Tabor spent six seasons as Blanket head coach from 2011-16, posting a 34-32 record with five consecutive playoff berths and one district championship in 2014. For his career, Tabor owns a 51-45 mark.

“I still have a lot invested in those kids,” Tabor said. “I honestly feel like I'd be the very best guy to go in there and bring some familiarity and stability to them after all the things that have gone on.”

The Blanket job came open when Williamson left for Zephyr after the Blanket ISD Board of Trustees opted not to renew Williamson’s contract on Feb. 12. That decision led to a backlash from students and parents alike. Williamson, who was in his first year with the district, was on a probationary contract and state school law requires the board to hold have a separate vote to terminate Williamson’s probationary contract. That vote did not occur, so Williamson’s contract was not terminated. A specially-called meeting on Feb. 27 to resolve the matter never took place as more than 200 members of the community attended in support of Williamson, but only three of seven school board members. Without a quorum, no action could take place, but numerous students and parents spoke in favor of keeping Williamson.

On March 7, the unresolved dilemma reached its conclusion when Williamson took the Zephyr job as his future with Blanket remained uncertain.

“When the things happened here in Blanket I tossed and turned over it,” Tabor said. “I felt like the kids were in need a little bit and it tugged at my heart strings. I live here in this community and the kids and the school are super important. The school is the No. 1 thing that holds this community together. I just felt like I was the guy. I felt like I needed them and they needed me, and I hope that's the case. When times are a little bit troubled, sometimes a total stranger coming in is good and sometimes it's not. I just knew that I knew these kids and I think they'll respond to me.”

As for the upcoming football season, Blanket will return to the Class A Division II ranks where the Tigers will be paired with Brookesmith, Mullin, Rising Star and Sidney in District 15.

“We dropped down to Division II, which is where Blanket needs to be numbers-wise,” Tabor said. “It'll be a lot more competitive for us. The new district we're going to be in, there's going to be a lot coaching changes from what I understand, but I haven't looked at it or studied it much yet. I'll hit that running very soon.”