The Hazelwood School District Board of Education approved a recommendation to hire Aaron Whittington as the head varsity football coach and Lawndale Thomas as the head varsity basketball coach.

"We are very excited to have Whittington and Thomas serve as head coaches at our school," said Corey Johnson, activities director at Hazelwood East High School. "They will both bring diverse experience and a high level of energy to the roles of head coaches.

"Whittington will bring a ton of excitement and name history back to the East High football program. As a graduate of HEHS, we are very excited to welcome him back home. Thomas has a great basketball pedigree. As a counselor in our district for several years he has a great relationship with our students. We are looking forward to him building on those relationships to help build another strong team."

Whittington served as an assistant football coach at HEHS from 2010 - 2012. He is a 2003 graduate of HEHS. While at HEHS, Whittington was named a high school All American football player. He earned first-team All-State acclaim. He was also recognized as a model student leader. Whittington received a full athletic scholarship to play football at the University of California, Los Angeles, or UCLA. While at UCLA, Whittington was an All PAC-10 conference football player. Whittington has a bachelor's degree in history from UCLA.

"Whittington and his family have a great history here at East High School," said Johnson. "He is the youngest of four siblings to graduate from HEHS, and has been attending East High football games since 1985 either watching his older brothers play, playing himself or coaching."

Thomas has been a guidance counselor at HEHS for the past seven years. He is currently the guidance department chair. While at HEHS, he has served as the head junior varsity boys basketball coach and varsity assistant boys basketball coach. He has worked as a basketball skills development coach in the St. Louis area for the past five years. Prior to coaching in HSD, Thomas coached basketball at Normandy High School and Normandy Middle School. He has also served as a basketball official for the Missouri State High School Activities Association for the past six years. Thomas has a bachelor's degree in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Missouri, St. Louis, UMSL, and a master's degree in professional school counseling from Lindenwood University.

"Thomas has done an excellent job working with our students as a coach and counselor," said Johnson. "As a standout player at UMSL and a coach with a great track record, he will be a tremendous asset to the team."