One of East Texas' most successful coaches is leaving the area. Tatum head boys basketball coach Brett Carr has accepted the same position at Morton Ranch High School in Katy. learned of Carr's departure Thursday morning and confirmed it later that afternoon.

"It's been a phenomenal run and I couldn't ask for a better experience here," Carr said. "This is the longest I've ever lived anywhere in my life, so it feels like home to me."

Carr, who has spent the last 12 seasons in charge of the Tatum basketball program, led the Eagles to six regional tournament and three state tournament appearances, including a trip to last month's event.

Under Carr, Tatum boys basketball has become one of the most consistent and successful athletic programs in the area. He guided the Eagles to the UIL state tournament in 2003, 2011 and 2014 with this team advancing to the state championship game on all three occasions.

"I feel very blessed to have spent the last 12 years here," Carr said. "It seemed like we walked into a family atmosphere. One thing that's defining about this place is our kids who played for me 12 years ago, they were there for our kids who played in the state championship this year -- texting, calling and coming to the games. To me that's a sign of real family, a culture of kids who still want you to win and are proud of what the kids have done this year."

Tatum spent most of the 2013-14 season ranked in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 2A top five. The Eagles, who lost to eventual state champion White Oak in the 2013 regional final, put together a 35-5 mark last season.

Carr guided Tatum to a thrilling overtime win over top-ranked Kountze in the 2A Region III title game, decided on senior Klifton Willis' last-second jump shot. The Eagles then dispatched of Bushland 58-41 in the state semifinals to advance to the 2A finals against Ponder.

Tatum held a 14-point lead midway through the third quarter, but Ponder closed the game on a 35-11 run to deny the Eagles their first state championship in three tries under Carr.

Carr has had several standout players in his time at Tatum, including Robbie Rockwell, who was named the TABC Class 2A Player of the Year last month. Rockwell, one of the most prolific 3-point shooters in the history of the state, finished his senior year with 134 made 3's. As a junior, he hit 168 3-pointers, which rank eighth all-time on the National High School Federation's single-season list.

Tatum will be a member of District 19-4A next year, along with Carthage, Center, Henderson and Rusk.

Morton Ranch will compete in District 19-6A next season. The league will consist of Houston Strake Jesuit, Katy, Katy Cinco Ranch, Katy Mayde Creek, Katy Seven Lakes, Katy Taylor and Katy Tompkins.

"I visited with a few people about the things I needed and I just felt like this was a good option and time for a change," Carr said. "To me it's a great opportunity. They've got a first-class group of administrators and it's a large school, obviously. Katy ISD is well spoken for, and (Morton Ranch) is a unique school in Katy and has some kids with great talent and great potential. I just think it fits me well personally."