Coaching by numbers
Dave Campbell's Texas Football managing editor Travis Stewart takes a hard look at the recent flurry of high school football coaching changes — and what the numbers behind the moves may suggest about each program's future. Who wants to stroll back to the 1980s?
Beaumont West Brook and Lufkin, two of the most attractive jobs left in the Texas high school football coaching ranks, ended up closing on the same day. What are the odds of that?
Turns out that February 23 was a pretty big day in the coaching arena as a whole — for whatever reason, numerous posts were filled across all regions of the state, some expected and some unexpected. Don Price? To Houston King? And Kevin Flanigan showing up at Beaumont West Brook? Fascinating.
So DCTF did a little digging today to put these moves in perspective — let's take a stroll through history and see what we learn.
Crosby-ex Kevin Flanigan takes over at Beaumont West Brook
Flanigan is a fairly well-known name in the Texas coaching community, having found success at Troup, Orangefield and finally Crosby before taking on his first 5A program. His teams have been consistently good, with a little bit of great mixed in here and there. Here's a look at the numbers:
Career record: 99-72
Crosby record (2004-2011): 56-39
Orangefield record (2000-2003): 23-20
Troup record (1997-1999): 20-15
Seasons at or above .500: 15
Seasons below .500: 4 (one at Crosby, two at Orangefield, one at Troup)
FBS signees: 3 at Crosby
- ATH Dominic Merka, 2011 (TCU)
- CB Chance Casey, 2009 (Baylor)
- OL Paul Santillan, 2007 (UTEP)
For comparison's purposes, West Brook's outgoing coach, Craig Stump, who is taking over at Humble Atascocita, finished with a 58-19 mark over seven years with the Bruins (his record is now 71-25 overall). He never finished below .500. Keep in mind that, historically, West Brook has been a bit of a feast or famine job; the Bruins failed to finish above .500 every year from 1998 to 2004. Now they haven't finished at or below that mark since then. That's not a lot of gray area for one of the Golden Triangle's premier programs.
Todd Quick is promoted to head coach at Lufkin
This move is obviously tinged with tragedy, as Quick's opportunity arose when longtime Pack coach John Outlaw, a legend of the game, suddenly passed away after the season. But in a way, a bit of Outlaw lives on in Lufkin now — Quick, Outlaw's DC, was one of the most loyal assistants in the history of the game. Observe:
Time Quick and Outlaw worked together: 26 years
Time together in Lufkin: 17 years
Record over that 17-year span: 162-46
College players produced during that 17-year span: 183
That's obviously a remarkable run of success, and do realize that Quick's resume would have been more than good enough to secure him a head coaching position elsewhere time and time again during that near two-decade stretch. Also worth noting is how quickly the Pack progressed when Outlaw and Quick arrived in 1995; up until that point, Lufkin had just four playoff appearances to its name from 1963 to 1993. After the dynamic duo landed, Lufkin finished below .500 just once and missed the playoffs just twice. Quick would tell you that had a lot to do with Outlaw. And Outlaw would tell you that had a lot to do with Quick. Even if Lufkin ends up struggling with Outlaw gone (seems unlikely), the Pack still made the right choice in giving such a dedicated individual his shot at the job.
Cody Patton takes over for Terry Wolf at 2A Holliday
This one caught a few people by surprise, including me — Wolf had been one of the most successful 2A coaches in Texas over the past decade, and his stretch of consistent success at Holliday was something to marvel at. After an average run at Archer City in the late 80s and early 90s (16-20-2 over four seasons), Wolf didn't surface as a head coach again until 2001. Here's his track record since then:
Not that you need me to tell you this, but that's outstanding work. Holliday was good before his arrival under coach Matthew Robinson (1989-2000), but not quite at the level of consistency and excellence that Wolf produced. Now Wolf's defensive coordinator, Cody Patton, is tasked with sustaining that momentum. He's been on staff for ten years and has been the DC since 2006. Holliday has fielded some pretty salty defense during that time frame:
2006: 10.8 PAG
2007: 12.7 PAG
2008: 14.0 PAG
2009: 20.8 PAG
2010: 14.8 PAG
2011: 13.6 PAG
Look, taking over for Terry Wolf is no joke. But A) Wolf is staying on as athletic director, B) he will also retain a job on the staff, and C) Patton's resume is good enough that he was considered to be a finalist for the Seymour (1A) job this year. I think Holliday will be just fine.
Hamshire-Fannett's Don Price moves to Houston King
How you feel about this move all depends on how far back you're wanting to research. Price, who spent the last two years at Hamshire-Fannett, isn't exactly on a hot streak — he finished his short tenure at just 3-17. But also keep in mind that H-F hasn't finished above .500 under any coach since 2003 and was 0-10 the year before Price arrived. The rest of Price's resume, which includes stops at Grapeland, Maypearl and Barbers Hill, is hit and miss:
Career record: 108-75-1
Career record before Hamshire-Fannett: 105-58-1
Hamshire-Fannett record (2010-2011): 3-17
Barbers Hill record (1998-2009): 99-35
Maypearl record (1990-1991): 6-14
Grapeland record (1987): 0-9-1
Obviously, his tenure at Barbers Hill was very good, especially from 1999 to 2006, when his teams won double-digit games five times and at least eight every year. But obviously his track record at the small schools is spotty, even if you take out Grapeland since it was his first year as a head coach. Personally, I think Price can be successful at King — if he can recapture the magic that made his team a powerhouse for almost a decade. And almost all of that success came without an FBS player on the roster.
Travis Stewart is the managing editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.