Palacios ISD announced that Chad Graves will be named the new head football coach and athletic director at a special board meeting this past Friday.

Graves, who was the head coach and athletic director at Natalia ISD and Natalia High School, comes to take over the Sharks after leading the Mustangs to a 9-2 record last season.

The board approved the hire of Graves after a search that took three months. The hire comes after Jeff Doege was reassigned as a campus coordinator in November after leading Palacios to a 2-16 record in his two seasons as Shark head coach.

Graves coached at Natalia since 2012, and did a big renovation job of a Mustang team that was 0-10 in 2013. Natalia improved every season since, and won the District 15-3A, Division II title last season with a 4-1 record. 

It was the first playoff berth for Natalia since 2003. The Mustangs lost to Skidmore-Tynan in the first round of the 3A Division II playoffs. 

Graves takes over a Palacios program that has struggled the last five years. The Sharks haven’t won more than two games in a season since they went 5-5 in 2012. Palacios hasn’t made the playoffs since making a run to the state quarterfinals in 2007. 

The Sharks did break a 19-game losing streak in September with a win over Bloomington last season, and then broke a 20-game losing streak in district games with a win over Industrial in the final game of the season.

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