It didn't take long for Terry Ward to jump right into his new job. Only a few hours to be exact.

Ward, who led Tenaha to the 2011 Class A Division II state championship, was approved by the Harleton ISD school board to become the district's new athletic director and head football coach Tuesday night.

And on Wednesday morning, he turned his resignation at Tenaha and began working for Harleton after lunch. Ward will replace Jackie Lloyd, who previously announced his retirement.

"(Harleton) is a school we played a couple times in the past, and we've actually scrimmaged them as well," Ward told Wednesday evening. "It's a school in East Texas not far from where I grew up, so I knew about those guys even as a kid.

"I felt like it was the right fit for myself, my family, and all three of my boys. When I went over there and interviewed, I felt comfortable, like it was where I was supposed to be."

Lloyd, a longtime baseball coaching veteran in East Texas, took over as AD in Harleton prior to the 2012 season after legendary football coach Dennis Alexander -- the state's fifth-most winningest coach in history -- left for the same position at Troup.

"They've had some great leaders," Ward said of Harleton. "Of course, everyone knows about Coach Alexander and then Coach Lloyd, who just retired."

In three seasons under Lloyd, Harleton compiled a 22-11 record, making the playoffs all three years. Harleton, however, has not won more than 10 games in a season since 2004.

Harleton will be getting a coach with a proven track record in Ward, who went 66-15 in six seasons at Tenaha. Under Ward, the Tigers advanced to two state championship games (2011, 2012) and reached at least the state-semifinal round in five of his six years on the sidelines.

Tenaha finished 11-3 last season, falling to eventual Class 2A Division II state champion Bremond, 32-29, in the semifinals.

"It was very exciting, especially for a first-time head coach," Ward said of his time in Tenaha. "For me to walk into something lime that, I was very lucky; it was a great experience. It's a really great group of people over there, the kids are awesome, the support from the community was top-notch. I was very fortunate to be able to lead that program for the years I did."