This Week in TXHSFB: Dallas Cowboys Staff Changes Impact TXHSFB, Big Retirements in Gilmer and Abilene Wylie, Katy Jordan Hires Their First Head Coach

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Round Rock McNeil Lands Vandegrift DC

Round Rock ISD decided to pluck an assistant from one of Austin’s more successful teams the past couple of years (not named Lake Travis or Westlake) as they hired Austin Vandegrift defensive coordinator Scott Hermes to be the next head coach at McNeil High School. Hermes has coordinated one of the top defenses in the state at the 6A level the past two seasons and has been on staff at Vandegrift since 2013. “Scott is a great coach, a defensive mastermind and I think he’s going to do an outstanding job at McNeil,” said Vandegrift head coach Drew Sanders.


Katy Jordan Has Their First Head Coach

As is usually the case with their job openings, Katy ISD stayed inside with the hire at their ninth high school as Katy Mayde Creek HC Mike Rabe moves to take over at Katy Jordan High School, which opens in August. Rabe, who, prior to joining Katy ISD, had spent time as a head coach at Ganado and Waco Connally, spent five seasons at Morton Ranch and led the Rams to a 9-3 mark in 2019, their first playoff appearance since 2008 and their first playoff win since 1997. Jordan High School, which won’t start varsity football until 2022, will pull primarily from Katy Seven Lakes and Katy Tompkins.


Arthur Louis Resigns at Beaumont United

After getting the Beaumont United football program off the ground for the past two years, it appears longtime Beaumont ISD mainstay Arthur Louis is stepping away from coaching as he announced his retirement last week. Louis, who in 1998 got the Beaumont Ozen program off the ground, was the choice by Beaumont ISD to start the new program at Beaumont United, which combined Beaumont Ozen and Beaumont Central back in 2018. In two years leading the Timberwolves, Louis posted a 7-13 mark and the team improved to 5-5 in 2019, realignment in February will see United drop to Class 5A-Division I.


Sciba Steps Aside at Houston Northbrook

Jeff Sciba has stepped down as head football coach at Houston Northbrook after four seasons and just two wins at one of the most difficult jobs in the state of Texas. Northbrook has never made the playoffs in school history, is mired in the midst of a 21-game losing streak and hasn’t had a winning season since 1993. This is not a job that’s going to draw a ton of interest from real big-name candidates. My early guess is this will be a hire of a career assistant who is looking to improve his pay grade for retirement.


A Legend Retires in the Big Country

One of the most tenured coaches in the state announced his retirement on Friday as Abilene Wylie head coach Hugh Sandifer called it a career after 32-seasons leading the Bulldogs and 41-years total at Wylie ISD. Sandifer retires with an impressive overall record of 285-127-4. He led Abilene Wylie to a state title in 2004 and to three other state title games during his tenure, in which in his early years he also doubled as the head coach of the boy’s basketball team. Abilene Wylie made the playoffs in 27 of his 32 seasons as the head coach, quite the run. It’ll be interesting to see where Wylie looks for their next head coach. Has Sandifer groomed his replacement or will the job be opened up? It’s certainly an attractive gig as growth south of Abilene is happening rapidly and Wylie’s talent pool should increase to become a solid 5A team.


Matt Turner Retires and Gilmer Opens

After five seasons as the head coach and 17 overall years in Gilmer, head coach Matt Turner announced his retirement Friday. Turner posted an impressive overall record of 53-17 at Gilmer in his five seasons and in his first two years led the Buckeyes to the state semifinals. Gilmer is still one of the most attractive jobs in East Texas and if the job truly is opened up, it will draw a lot of interest.


Mexia’s Sandoval to West Mesquite

Mesquite ISD named Mexia head coach Frank Sandoval as the next head coach for the West Mesquite Wranglers. Sandoval spent the past three seasons at Class 4A Mexia and led the Blackcats to the area round of the playoffs in 2017 and 2019. Prior to his time in Mexia, Sandoval was an assistant at Cedar Hill under Joey McGuire. Coach Sandoval takes over a West Mesquite program that has missed the playoffs the last two seasons and has some uncertainty in their future with a potentially brutal draw in realignment and a possible jump to Class 6A in two seasons. The job at Mexia now opens and from all indications this is a solid 4A gig with excellent administrative support and they’ve made the area playoffs two of the past three seasons.


San Antonio Sam Houston Selects Duncanville LB Coach

Last week, one of many openings in the Alamo City was filled as San Antonio ISD hired Duncanville LB coach Quincy Stewart to be their next head football coach. Stewart, a native of Tyler, spent time playing professionally in the NFL and the CFL before starting his coaching career. Stewart was an assistant at Houston Spring Woods, Austin McCallum and Danbury before landing his first head coaching gig at Venus. Stewart spent two seasons at Venus before joining Duncanville’s staff for the 2019 season.


Elkhart’s Fiacco to Cleveland

Elkhart head coach Jason Fiacco departs East Texas after just two seasons and heads to the Houston area where he will take over at Cleveland High School. In two seasons at Elkhart, Fiacco posted an 8-12 record, including 5-5 mark this past season. He takes over at Cleveland where transition is imminent all over the place. The Indians will be on their third head coach in three seasons and are growing at incredible rate of speed. In 2017, Cleveland was a Class 4A program. In two seasons they are now looking at 5A-Division and likely in 2022 they will be a 6A program. CHS has lost their last 23-games, with their last win coming October 20, 2017 so this is a total rebuild from the ground up. Fiacco is a native of Wisconsin, but came to Texas in 2014 to be an assistant at La Vernia under Bo Robinson. After serving as head coach in 2015 at Hartford, Michigan High School where he posted a 5-4 record, Fiacco returned to Texas in 2016 as offensive coordinator at Yoakum. Fiacco spent two years as OC at Yoakum where the Bulldogs advanced to the state championship game and the state semifinals.


Goliad Looking for a New Coach

After being somewhat of a revolving door for coaches (three coaches in six seasons from 2010-2015), head coach Bobby Nicholson had brought some stability to the Tigers program. However, Goliad ISD decided to go a different direction and reassigned Nicholson after a difficult 1-9 campaign in 2019. Nicholson posted a 31-18 record in four seasons including an 11-2 mark in 2017 where the Tigers advanced to the regional finals and a 10-3 mark in 2018. Word around the area is the talent may be down the next few years in Goliad and that combined with a track record of not keeping coaches for long (only one coach has lasted more than four seasons since the 1970s and that was Kyle Taylor’s five year run from 1994-1998) may limit the applicant pool.


Garrison Will Take Their Time

Don’t expect Garrison ISD to move quickly to bring in a new HFC/AD to replace Larry Prince. Reports are that Garrison won’t have a new head coach until March, possibly right after Spring Break. This slow movement is common in smaller districts, who generally are tighter with the resources.


Dallas Bishop Dunne LB Cook Transfers to Duncanville

2022 LB Jordan Cook, who currently holds five FBS offers (Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, USC, Kansas and Missouri), is transferring from Dallas Bishop Dunne to Duncanville. If Cook is ruled eligible (typically private school transfers have no issues if residency is not a concern), he’ll add to a defensive front that again looks to be among the best in the state in 2020.


Changes to the Dallas Cowboys Staff Could Trickle Down to TXHSFB

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the Dallas Cowboys hired a new head coach in Mike McCarthy. He’s making several changes to the coaching staff and that may trickle down to Texas High School Football, due to the sons of two assistants leading DFW area teams. We know QB coach and former Waxahachie head coach Jon Kitna is not being retained by McCarthy; his son Jalen is a former Boston College commit and is the starting QB at Frisco Reedy. There was some thought that tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier was not going to be retained, but on Sunday reports circulated he was moving to the QB coach spot, replacing Kitna. Doug’s son, Garrett is a four-star recruit and is the starting signal caller at Flower Mound Marcus, which advanced to the third round of the 6A playoffs last year.

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