Inside the Program: How Cody Moore built the foundation at Denton Braswell from the ground up

Keith Speer

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“I like taking on opportunities that stretch me and things that I know are going to make me better.” – Denton Braswell head coach Cody Moore

An ideal opportunity was presented to Cody Moore in 2016 with the opening of Braswell High School in Denton ISD.

“Not only to take your first head coaching job,” Moore said, “but to be able to build it into what you want it to be.”

It doesn't get much better than that.

The new head coach was not a stranger to the world of Texas high school football. Moore had spent 11 years as an assistant coach and eight years as an offensive coordinator. Making the move from OC at Rockwall under the direction of Rodney Webb, this would be Moore’s first time in the driver’s seat.  

But as one would expect, implementing a winning culture isn’t something that happens overnight. The Bengals had to wait 420 days to secure their first victory. Moore’s squad went 0-11 in their first season and the streak continued until Week 9 of the 2017 season where they outlasted Wichita Falls 54-41 to claim victory on October 19, 2017.  

“It’s funny, the culture that we wanted to establish really goes hand-in-hand with what I think is important when you’re starting a program,” Moore said. "Just being the best that we can be that day and just understanding that there’s a process involved. We may not see results immediately, but the most important thing is that everything we do is preparing us for the future.”

Slowly but surely, the results started to improve. They won two games in 2017 and then three in 2018.

2019… now that’s when everything really started to click.

After falling short to victory in two out of their first three games, Coach Moore and his Bengals squad finished the remainder of the regular season on a seven-game win streak to claim the 7-5ADII District title and clinch their first-ever playoff appearance.

Braswell traveled just up the road to C. H. Collins Athletic Complex in Denton to face Corsicana, a program that is no stranger to bi-district games. The determined Bengals would go on to win the game 49-28 and secure the four-year program’s first-ever playoff victory.

Even now, Moore struggles to find the right words to describe the emotion he felt that Friday night.

“It’s hard to put into words for me and our staff and our kids and our community, that all the work that has gone in… to have that capped off with our first district championship and our first playoff win… it was unbelievable, something I will never forget.”

Braswell would fall to Red Oak, 35-30, the following week to finish the season 9-3.

With the undeniable amount of success Moore has shown in his short tenure as a head coach, it was not a groundbreaking surprise when Plano Senior High, one of the most decorated Texas High School football programs in the state, announced on March 3rd that they were hiring Moore as its new head coach after parting ways with Jaydon McCullough after 10 seasons.

That news lasted all of about 24 hours until Denton ISD tweeted out a video from the Braswell weight room of Coach Moore telling his players he decided he was not leaving.

“I think a lot of things went into it (the decision)," he said. "I think the most important thing is it’s a very hard thing to leave something that you’ve helped build… I just wasn’t ready to leave Denton, to leave our school district, our community and most importantly… I wasn’t ready to leave our kids.”

Heading into the 2020 season, Braswell will be making the jump from 5A-DII to 6A. Moore is ready for the challenge.

"I’m really excited about that… and we have a great group of kids coming back," he said. "Everything about our program is better going into 2020 than it was going into 2019 so we’re excited.”

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