WHITEHOUSE -- Whitehouse Independent School District officials knew they would be looking for a new head football coach for almost a year, after not renewing the contract of nine-year coach Randy McFarlin.

And on Monday, after a four-hour school board meeting, Whitehouse finally had its man.

Adam Cook, who's spent the last three years as the Wildcats' offensive coordinator and the previous seven as an assistant, was officially hired to replace the school's all-time winningest coach.

“As a coach, this has always been one of my goals in life that I’ve reached for," Cook said. "That’s one of the things we constantly talk to the kids about, and that’s setting goals. This is huge to reach this goal, but the thing is it doesn’t stop right here. Now there are other goals. What we’ve been talking to the young men about is moving forward. It’s huge for me, and to do it here in Whitehouse in a community I believe in, I feel very blessed at this point.”

Cook, 35, replaces McFarlin, who went 59-43 and guided Whitehouse to three 10-win seasons -- the only three in school history. The school board chose not to renew McFarlin's contract last February. Whitehouse finished 10-2 with a trip to the Class 4A Division II area playoffs in 2012.

“It’s been a long process," Cook said. "Whenever we were first told last year that the program was moving in a new direction, it was very tough on us; it was very emotional at that point. But the thing that we started doing is just moving forward with the kids."

Whitehouse athletic director Richard Peacock said there were 64 applicants for the job, and he and his committee interviewed six candidates.

“It’s been a long process for myself and my committee," Peacock said. "We’ve spent lots of time, lots of hours interviewing, going through applications. Out of all the people we interviewed, Adam Cook’s name came to the top. And we feel very comfortable and very confident we made right the decision for our football program.”

Cook, a Redwater High School alum and 2001 graduate of Texas Tech, has overseen the Whitehouse offense for the previous seven years. Prior to becoming offensive coordinator in 2010, he was the quarterbacks coach for four years.

During his time in Whitehouse, Cook has coached current SFA quarterback Brady Attaway, the school's all-time passing leader Hunter Taylor and Patrick Mahomes, a Class of 2014 prospect who is being recruited by several major colleges.

“It had quite a bit to do with it; familiarity is good," Peacock said of Cook's resume. "Adam Cook’s success on the offensive side of the ball … we’ve been very successful. He knows the kids and the system we have in place has been very successful. And that was one of the positives that we looked at.”

Whitehouse's offense averaged 45 points and 476.4 yards per game in 2012, and in Cook's three years as offensive coordinator, the Wildcats put up 41 points and 467 yards a game.

Among the first items on the agenda for Cook will be to evaluate his coaching staff.

“My thing now is just to assess and set out my expectations and what I’m looking for in coaches," he said. "We’ve got some great coaches here, but I do see some areas where we can improve in and I see where we can get some new coaches and new ideas. I think it’s a good opportunity for us to do that, to move forward with our football program. But a big overhaul, I don’t foresee a huge overhaul.”

Cook said that while one of his lifelong goals has now been achieved, there's still work to be done.

"For me to get my first coaching job at a place like this, it’s a blessing," he said. "Good things are coming out of Whitehouse, there’s no doubt about that. We’ve got great things coming and great athletes that believe in the system that we’re doing.”