This Week in TXHSFB (Jan. 18): Lehnhoff moves to AD, Norton crosses the border & big-time retirements
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It’s been a massive week of coaching movement across the state of Texas with not only several big jobs opening, but also some fixtures in the Texas high school football coaching community announcing retirements.
We lead off with the biggest shock of the week: Cibolo Steele head coach Scott Lehnhoff is moving up to be the district’s Athletic Director, opening one of the state’s best jobs. Lehnhoff was 52-8 in four years as Steele’s head coach, reaching two state semifinals and one state title game. The Knights have not lost to a San Antonio area team since the 2013 state quarterfinals, leaving the bar very high for whomever takes the reigns next.
The big news out of West Texas was Midland High HC Craig Yenzer announcing his retirement on Friday. Yenzer retires after 15 years at Midland High, having led the Bulldogs to the state title game in 2002, losing to Converse Judson in one of the most stunning endings to a state title game in history. He was also HC at Hereford from 1992-2001, leading HHS to the state title game in 1999. Yenzer was 103-70 in his 15 years at Midland High.
Tomball ISD made two splash hires for their openings at both their high schools. Late last week it was announced Beaumont West Brook HC Kevin Flanigan was hired for the opening at Tomball High, while Spring HC Sam Parker was brought in for the opening at Tomball Memorial. Parker, who was hired at the age of 29 at Spring, posted an impressive 30-9 record the past three years at Spring High.
The headline from the Austin area on Tuesday was the retirement of legendary Liberty Hill HC Jerry Vance after 16 incredibly successful years. Vance racked up a 164-57 record and led the Panthers to the 2006 and 2007 state titles. LHHS won 38 straight games between the years 2006-2008. Vance learned the Slot-T offense from the legendary Bruce Bush in the late 1970’s while at Dimmitt.
Littlefield HC Bryan Huseman also announced his retirement on January 11. He spent 26 years at Littlefield – 10 as head boys basketball coach, and the last 16 as head football coach where he posted a 132-61 record. Huseman has the unique distinction of having coached LHS to the basketball state title game in 1993 and the football state title game in 2006.
Another big retirement was just outside of the DFW area as Danny Henson announced to his team Tuesday that he’d be retiring at Bridgeport. Henson was a fixture in Wise County, roaming the Bridgeport sidelines for 24 seasons. BHS in the mid 1990’s adopted an early version of the spread offense to great success as Bridgeport made the 3A semifinals in 2001. Henson mentioned he still may have some coaching left in him so don’t be surprised if the retirement is short lived.
Klein Cain hired Strake Jesuit HC James Clancy. Clancy spent five seasons at Strake and led the Crusaders to the third round of the playoffs in 2015. He returns to Klein ISD where he was the OC at Klein Oak prior to getting the head coaching spot at Strake Jesuit.
Princeton hired Frisco Lone Star OC Clint Surratt to his first-ever head football coaching position last Friday. Surratt was key in helping Lone Star emerge as a DFW area 5A power, including a trip to the 5A Division II state title game in 2015.
Katy Morton Ranch hired former Stafford HC Ron Counter, who resigned at Stafford right after the Christmas break. Katy’s newest high school Paetow hired Katy OC B.J. Goette as their first head coach in the school’s history.
Wolfforth Frenship surprised many by picking Sachse OC and Plainview native Jay Northcutt as their next HFC. Northcutt’s offense at Sachse has been among the best in the state, and his energy was one factor that caused him to beat out two successful head coaches for this highly coveted job in West Texas. Ironically enough, this is the third time that FISD AD Kenny Catney has hired a Garland ISD coordinator for a head coaching position. Twice in Wichita Falls, Catney hired GISD OC’s to be head coach at Wichita Falls High in Jayson Lavender and Danny Russell.
Mesquite High HC Robbie Robinson announced his retirement on January 13. A Mesquite High alum, Robinson had been at MHS since 1987 and spent the last nine years as HC posting a 40-56 record. His best years were 2011 when MHS went 7-6 and 2012 when the Skeeters were 11-1. Prior to returning to his alma mater, Robinson was on Jim Wacker’s staff as strength and conditioning coach at TCU.
Pleasanton HC Tab Dumont announced to his team on Friday that he would move to a full-time athletic director position after 19 years as HFC. Dumont’s DC Stephen Liska was promoted to HFC to take Dumont’s place.
Freeport Brazosport made their hire for the vacant HFC position as they tabbed Houston North Forest HFC Mike Ferrell as their next head coach on Tuesday.
Cedar Hill will interview the three finalists for their vacant HFC position on Thursday. The word is all three finalists are current head coaches and each of the three candidates brings their own unique bullet points to the position. It will be very interesting to see if CHISD goes with a candidate with past ties to the program or if they go a different direction.
In what may be the first of several big coaching moves in East Texas, Texarkana Texas High HC Barry Norton moved across town (and state lines) to Arkansas High late Tuesday evening. Norton racked up an impressive 176-32-1 record in 18 years of leading the Tigers, including the 2002 4A Division I State Championship and a state semifinal appearance in 2003. Texarkana Texas High immediately moves to the front of the list as one of the top head coaching vacancies in the state.
Pilot Point will begin interviews to replace Rob Best this week. Several 3A head coaches in the vicinity of the DFW area are rumored to be in the interview pool.
McGregor is moving slow in filling their HFC/AD opening as interviews won’t start up until January 27.
San Saba applications close January 17. Interviews will begin next week there over 100 applicants for the vacancy but no timetable is set for a hire.
McCamey interviews will kick off the last week of January with an anticipated hire late February.
The opening at Simms Bowie will continue to take applicants until January 20. Interviews will begin shortly thereafter with a hire in sometime in February.
Duncanville ISD Athletic Director Cathy Self-Morgan announced this fall she’d be stepping aside as DISD Athletic Director, thus opening up a position in administration in one of the DFW area’s largest single school districts. The word is there are a couple of DFW area head coaches in contention for this job and a current East Texas head coach, as well. A decision could come down later this week.
San Antonio Jay student Victor Rojas, who was one of two players involved in the attack on an official in a game vs. Marble Falls in September of 2015, was reinstated to participate in athletics for the 2017-2018 school year by the UIL. Rojas, who was a sophomore at the time, has not participated in UIL athletics since the incident but will be allowed to play football for his senior year. In my personal view, I feel like Rojas was punished severely for his horrible error in judgment and should be given a chance to redeem himself and participation in athletics is a chance for him to try to make amends.
It’s officially clinic season in the state of Texas and if you have coaching clinic information that we are missing below by all means send it our way! You can e-mail it to me at email@example.com or reach out to me on twitter @Matt_Stepp817
January 20-21: Piney Woods Football Clinic, Longview http://pineywoodsfootballclinic.com/
January 20-21: Alamo City Coaches Clinic, San Antonio http://www.alamocitycoachesclinic.com/
January 21: Greater Houston Football Coaches Association Winter Clinic, Klein
January 27-29: DFW Coaches Clinic, Irving http://www.coachesclinic.net
January 28: Texan Drive Coaches Clinic, Porter http://www.newcaneyisd.org/cms/lib5/TX01918142/Centricity/Domain/90/Texan%20Drive%20Coaches%20Clinic%20Reg%20Form.pdf
February 2-4: Nike Coach of the Year Clinic, Winstar Casino Oklahoma
February 10-11: Hill Country Clinic/Best Little Clinic In Texas, Fredericksburg http://www.hcfc-blc.com/
February 10-12: Lone Star Coaches Clinic, College Station http://www.lonestarclinic.com/
July 23-26: 2017 THSCA Coaches Convention & Coaching School, Houston
Matt Stepp is the Texas High School Football Inside for Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. Find him on Twitter: @Matt_Stepp817.