Lake Dallas athletic director Scott Head thought that he was going into the school’s main gymnasium on Tuesday afternoon for a college signing.
For the past two weeks, coaches at Lake Dallas High School did their best to conceal an event in which they were going to recognize Head for 30 years of employment in the school district.
They sent text messages to Head and walked into his office on multiple occasions to make sure that he would be sold on the idea that there was one more college signing that needed to be held before the end of the school year.
Even on the day when students and coaches sang “Happy birthday” to Head as he walked into the gymnasium – his actual birthday was Tuesday – he still had the belief that a signing ceremony was going to be held just moments later.
A table was set up in the middle of the basketball court and a chair had been positioned behind the table.
But, there was never a signing.
A slide show appeared on a large movie screen in the middle of the gymnasium, with pictures of Head’s best moments while employed at Lake Dallas ISD as well as with his family, while music was being piped through the gym’s speakers.
As he took his seat next to Lake Dallas junior Bella DiDonato, Head looked at the screen, and it was then when he realized that the ceremony was for him.
“I knew they were up to something,” he said. “They got me. I’m usually the one that is the practical joker, but they got me good on this one.”
To show their support for Head, coaches and students wore grey T-shirts with the words “Someone is 30 & More Today” printed in blue lettering on the front and “Coach Head” on the back. On the north end of the gymnasium, they signed their names on a sign that read “Happy Birthday Coach Head. 30 years of being the best AD ever.”
Not long after the slide show presentation commenced, Head placed his hand on his forehead in embarrassment while members of the crowd laughed as they saw a picture of Head when he had hair.
The expression on the face of Head, who is bald, turned from embarrassment to pure awe when pictures of him with this year’s softball team, as well as others with his children, were shown to the crowd.
"I thought that I was at my own funeral, at first," Head said. "It was an out-of-body experience. I was looking for a casket with my body in there. It was touching. Seeing the kids now and my daughters, and my dad, who has passed away, it was special."
Head has served in a variety of roles with the Lake Dallas athletics department since he was first hired by the school district in 1991.
Head took over as head baseball coach the following year, while also serving as an assistant coach with both the Falcons’ basketball and football teams. In 2000, he switched gears and became an assistant principal. In 2002, Head was asked to assume the role of athletic director following the retirement of Dale Ruth, who had served in that capacity for more than 10 years.
“I was always told that this wasn't a good path to go on in education, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world,” Head said. “I love it. I love the coaches. I love the parents. The kids are great. It's a great place to be.”