This Week in TXHSFB: Movement in Mesquite, Coastal Bend hires, Magnolia ISD picks a new AD

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Mike Overton retires at Mesquite Horn
Mesquite Horn head coach Mike Overton announced on Wednesday after National Signing Day, that he would be retiring from education after an outstanding 39-year career, much of which was spent in Mesquite ISD. Overton posted an impressive 116-68 record as a head coach with stops at Farmersville, West Mesquite and Mesquite Horn. Overton was an assistant on Mesquite’s 2001 Class 5A Division I state title team as well.

In 2002, Overton landed his first head coaching job at Farmersville where he spent three seasons. He returned to West Mesquite as an assistant in 2005 before being elevated to head coach in 2006. The Wranglers made just two playoff appearances in school history prior to his arrival and he authored a tremendous turnaround leading WMHS to seven straight playoff appearances, including a school best 10-4 mark in 2007, followed up with a 10-3 record in 2010. In 2013, Overton moved across town to Mesquite Horn where he led the Jaguars to six straight trips to the playoffs and two trips to the third round. 2018, which would be his final year at the helm may have been Coach Overton’s finest coaching job as Mesquite Horn against one of the state’s toughest schedules started the year 0-7. The opening slate included games against two eventual state champions (Longview and Highland Park) along with Allen, Arlington High, Rockwall and Cedar Hill. Horn rattled off three straight wins to sneak into the playoffs at 3-7. The Jaguars then went on the road in the first round of the playoffs and stunned favored Temple in the first round of the playoffs and earn an area round home game against Wylie that it won before seeing the magical run end with a 5-8 mark falling to Spring Westfield in the regional semifinals.

The job should be posted early next week as Mesquite ISD in addition to the Mesquite Horn opening is currently interviewing for its athletic director role as Steve Bragg is retiring at the end of the school year.

LaPorte hires Clear Springs defensive coordinator Anthony Renfro
On Tuesday night LaPorte ISD tabbed Clear Springs defensive coordinator Anthony Renfro to be its next head football coach. Renfro is replacing Jeff LaReau who led the Bulldogs for 14 seasons, Renfro takes over a program that’s seen better days, but there is excitement around town about some talented younger classes in the pipeline that could return LaPorte to playoff contention very soon.

Brazoswood and Brazosport hire
After hiring a Alan Waddell as athletic director a couple of weeks ago, Brazosport ISD made hires for both of its vacant head football coaching positions on Monday night. Class 6A Brazoswood brought in Wichita Falls Hirschi head coach Danny Youngs to lead the way. Youngs has had back-to-back sensational seasons at Hirschi posting a 21-6 record in 2017 and 2018. He’s got a connection to campus administration at Brazoswood as well. Class 4A Division I Brazosport lured Mark Kanipes away from Class 5A Santa Fe. Kanipes led the Indians to the playoffs last year under difficult circumstances after the tragic school shooting in May at Santa Fe. Kanipes is well thought of in the Houston area and was an assistant on Pearland’s state title team as well.

San Antonio Clark hires J.L. Geist
Northside ISD on Monday afternoon announced that its next head football coach would be Fort Bend Dulles head coach J.L. Geist. Geist led the Vikings for three seasons and posted a 17-12 record and will now head west on Interstate-10 to the Alamo City to lead a Clark program that has not had a winning season since 2009 when it went 13-1.

Kody Groves moves to Mesquite ISD athletic director
On Monday, the second big bombshell of the week dropped out of Mesquite ISD as Poteet head coach Kody Groves was named Mesquite ISD athletic director, replacing Steve Bragg who is retiring at the end of the school year. Groves posted a 56-21 record in six seasons leading Mesquite Poteet, with his best year coming in 2016 when PHS posted an 11-4 record and advanced to the 5A Division I state semifinals. The openings at both Mesquite Horn and Mesquite Poteet will be highly sought after and could cause major domino effects down the line.

Magnolia ISD promotes JD Berna
After the departure of Mike Spradlin to return to the sidelines at Rockwall-Heath, Magnolia ISD didn’t have to look far for its next athletic director as Magnolia West head coach JD Berna was promoted to athletic director of MISD on Monday night. Berna came to Magnolia ISD after a successful stint as an assistant at Temple under Spradlin and posted an impressive 25-9 record in three years leading Magnolia West.

Jeff Riordan resigns at Crosby
After seven very successful seasons, Crosby HFC/AD Jeff Riordan resigned his post on Monday afternoon. Riordan posted a 66-18 in his seven years at CHS including leading the Cougars to the state semifinals 2014. Crosby ISD has been mired in financial difficulties the past few months and several cuts in all departments have cast a cloud over the entire district.

Estes doesn’t stay away long
After stepping aside at Woodrow Wilson after 22 years, it appeared Bobby Estes may settle into a desk job and work in Dallas ISD administration. However, on Friday it was announced that Coach Estes’ “exile” to a desk job was short lived as North Dallas announced Estes as its next HFC. Coach Estes is Dallas ISD’s second winningest coach with a 138-102 record and will be charged with breaking the Bulldogs' long playoff drought. North Dallas hasn’t appeared in the playoffs since 1952. NDHS Athletic Coordinator Brian Barnett told Dave Campbell’s Texas Football via text message that the hire “is huge for our campus.”

Jared Sanderson steps aside at Midland Greenwood
In a surprise move out in the Permian Basin, Midland Greenwood head coach Jared Sanderson resigned his post Wednesday morning after two years and an 18-8 record leading the Rangers. Sanderson told Dave Campbell’s Texas Football that he’ll be taking a job outside of the educational field. Sanderson has been a head coach for six seasons compiling a solid 43-29 record in four years at Levelland and two at Midland Greenwood.

Sinton begins interviews
Sinton brought in a pool of a dozen candidates for its first round of interviews which started up late last week. That field has been narrowed down to four finalists who are interviewing one per day this week starting on Monday. The reported four finalists include a pair of assistant coaches from the Houston area, an assistant in the DFW area who has extensive local ties and a current head coach in Central Texas. A hire is expected to take place as early as next week.

Mathis and Taft hire local assistants
Two programs down in San Patricio County finalized its search for new coaches on Tuesday night and both Mathis and Taft landed on local assistant coaches to lead their programs. Mathis brought in Sinton assistant head coach Trae Stevens who is replacing Bo Camacho who departed after just one season at the helm. Taft brought in Beeville Jones defensive coordinator J.R. Castellano to lead their program, Castellano replaces J.J. Suarez who resigned after three seasons leading the Greyhounds.  

No "This Week in TXHSFB" next week

There will be no “This Week in TXHSFB” next week as I will be out on vacation, but we will return for the February 27 edition, with two weeks of updates from around the state as the news from the world of Texas High School Football never stops!

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 or reach out to me on twitter @Matt_Stepp817

February 15-16: Hill Country Clinic, Fredericksburg

February 15-16: South Plains Clinic, Lubbock

February 16: Farmersville Clinic, Farmersville

February 20: THSCA FAST Tackling Clinic, Longview

March 6: THSCA FAST Tackling Clinic, El Paso

May 3-4: I-45 Clinic, The Woodlands

May 3-4: El Paso Football Clinic, El Paso

June 11-13: Angelo Football Clinic, San Angelo

July 21-23: 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.

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