This Week In TXHSFB: Coaching hires, players transfers, coaching clinic info and a loss in the media world


Every week, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football high school football insider Matt Stepp shares the news and rumors around the Lone Star State. Got a tip? Contact Matt via e-mail or on Twitter.

It’s been a wild offseason in East Texas in the coaching ranks, and that movement didn’t slow down this week. In fact, this week might have topped them all.

Hallsville, which has been among the most stable jobs in East Texas, made a major splash Monday night hiring Mineola head coach Joe Drennon, who led the Yellow Jackets to their first-ever state title in 2016 also took Mineola to the title game in 2014. Drennon will try to duplicate the same unprecedented success at Hallsville, which — like Mineola before it — has seen very little football success in their history. Drennon was 75-38 in nine years at Mineola, including going 42-7 the past three years.

The biggest job open in the Northeast Texas closed this week as Texas High officially hired Flower Mound Marcus’ Gerry Stanford on Monday night. Stanford spent three years at Marcus, taking the Marauders to the 6A playoffs twice. He’s familiar with East Texas, as he had a successful stint at White Oak before taking the Marcus job.

Marshall has already gotten some major interest for its head coaching vacancy; more than 90 applicants have expressed interest. Look for interviews to kick off this week or early next week.

Bullard is also replacing their coach as Shannon Wilson departed after seven years to take over at Bridgeport. Wilson returns to the greater DFW area where he was an assistant at Southlake Carroll before taking over at Bullard in 2010.

Down in Houston, as expected, Cy Falls promoted from within as defensive coordinator Chris Brister was named the Eagles’ head coach. This comes on the heels of Kirk Eaton’s promotion to Cy-Fair ISD assistant athletic director.

It’s been a busy offseason within Katy ISD, as KISD has had to hire Paetow’s first head coach (BJ Gotte) and find new head coaches at Morton Ranch and Tompkins. Morton Ranch hired Stafford’s Ron Counter in January, while Tompkins hired KISD assistant athletic director on Monday night. McVey spent two years as the head football coach at Killeen Harker Heights along with a stint as head coach at McKinney. He was also interim head coach at Morton Ranch for a short time.

Rosenberg Terry also ramped up its interview process this week as Lamar Consolidated ISD looks to replace recently retired head coach Tim Teykl.

Spring is also nearing the end of their interview process; Spring ISD should name a new head coach on March 10.

Galena Park made the hiring of its next head coach official this week as North Shore defensive line coach George Young will look to put his stamp on the struggling program.

Despite rumblings that Liberty Hill may want to go with a more wide-open offense, LHISD decided to stay with the Slot-T offense as it promoted Jeff Walker to head coach and athletic director on Friday. Walker was the offensive coordinator on the Panthers’ two state title teams in 2006 and 2007, parlaying that into a successful six-year run at Rogers (59-13 record from 2008-14) before returning to Liberty Hill. Walker will steer the Panthers to a transition as they likely will move up to Class 5A in 2018.

Down in Southeast Texas, we are still monitoring the situation at Jasper very closely. At this time, we believe Darrell Barbay is still the head coach and athletic director, but considering the mixed signals down in the Golden Triangle, there still could be change in Jasper.

Nederland made a move in-house on Monday night, promoting longtime offensive Monte Barrow to replace Larry Neumann, who retired at the end of the fall semester.

Tom Bean is moving very slowly on replacing Truman Nix; there are apparently some budget concerns inside the district. The school board will meet in early March to determine how they will proceed in hiring a new coach.

Junction stayed in-house with their hire as JISD named special teams coordinator Rob McAdams as the Eagles next head coach and athletic director. McAdams, who has been at Junction for 13 years, replaces Mitch McLemore, who took the same job at Big Spring in January.

San Antonio Brandeis and San Antonio Highlands both will begin interviews for their head coaching vacancies this week.

Nearby, Hondo’s head coach and athletic director job opened up Tuesday night as Jesse Baez resigned after two seasons. The Owls won just four games in his time, but one of those wins as a massive upset in the bi-district round of the playoffs last season when 1-9 Hondo stunned 9-1 Devine.

Levelland should be hiring their new head coach/athletic director on Thursday; expect a current coach near the DFW area with extensive ties to the area to get this one.

McGregor’s new head coach could be officially hired as early as this week; the word is the district wants to move forward with hiring a superintendent first before finalizing the coach/AD job. The smart money is on a current head coach in Central Texas making a move south to McGregor.

It’s been a quiet offseason for coaching movement at the 6A level in El Paso, but it’s been busy in the 5A ranks as four jobs in the Sun City have opened. Three are now filled, but Clint Horizon’s job came open this week as I learned Francisco Vargas will not return as Horizon’s coach in 2017.

On the player front, the offseason transfer news continues. This time, it involves a highly touted player moving into the state as safety Jamarceon Jackson from Haynesville, La. announced on Twitter he was transferring to Cedar Hill. Jackson is a three-star recruit who currently holds offers from Mississippi State, UTSA and Louisiana-Lafayette. Jackson’s transfer will need to clear the district executive committee before he is fully eligible to compete for the Longhorns, but his addition could bolster what should be a much-improved Cedar Hill defense in 2017.

Denton Guyer, which lost running back Noah Cain to Florida’s IMG Academy earlier this offseason, got a boost in the backfield as Melissa running back Kaedric Cobbs has transferred in. As a freshman in 2016, Cobbs ran for nearly 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Class 5A superintendents will be voting for a possible division split at the Class 5A level. The voting period ended on Tuesday, and we should have the results possibly before mid-March. If the superintendents vote for the split, we could see Class 5A split into divisions — similar to Class 4A and below — as early as the 2018 realignment period.

High school football — and sports in general — offer us a brief respite from the challenges of the real world, but sometimes, the real world hits close to home. The high school football media community is a group made up of men and women who razz each other on Twitter, have great debates in the press box — ranging from music to the greatest team ever to food — and we’re all friends. One of our friends, longtime DFW area reporter David McNabb, passed away on Sunday night losing his battle with terminal cancer. Personally, I’ve had many interactions with David and, first and foremost, he was a good man; he was always willing to share a story or a little nugget of information. For me, especially as a young reporter, the fact that a legend like David would share information with me was an honor. I don’t think David ever knew what just taking the time to talk with me and share some of his knowledge would mean, but it meant a lot. I wish I had the chance to express that to him before he left us much too soon. Our prayers are with his family in this difficult time.

On a lighter note: It’s officially clinic season in the state of Texas! If you have coaching clinic information that we are missing, send it our way via e-mail or on Twitter.

June 13-15: Angelo Football Clinic, San Angelo

July 23-26: 2017 THSCA Coaches Convention & Coaching School, Houston

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