With the Friday morning bombshell coming out of Collin County — the resignation of former SMU and Arkansas coach Chad Morris after just one season as head coach of the Allen Eagles — all eyes will immediately turn to the future, as the largest school in Texas looks for its third coach in three seasons.
So, who will Allen target? Here are five candidates to watch.
David Branscom, Allen defensive coordinator
One of Morris' strengths during his brief time at Allen was staff-building, and that included bringing in a proven coach as his chief defensive assistant. David Branscom spent four years as the head coach at San Antonio Brandeis from 2017-20, ringing up a sparkling 37-10 record with a pair of regional final appearances. Considering how late in the coaching game this is — the Eagles have already finished spring ball — it might behoove Allen to stay in-house for at least the 2022 season, and Branscom is the most decorated guy on staff with head coaching experience.
Riley Dodge, Southlake Carroll head coach
One of the hottest names in Texas high school football today, the son of Texas high school football legend Todd Dodge has quickly established his own impressive résumé. After a strong stint as offensive coordinator at Justin Northwest, Dodge took the reins of his alma mater and launched into the stratosphere, going 52-5 in four seasons with a state championship appearance in 2020, a state semifinal appearance in 2021 and a pair of regional final appearances in 2018 and 2019. Allen reportedly called on Dodge last summer before it ultimately hired Morris; it figures his phone will ring again this year.
Jeff Rayburn, Frisco Lone Star head coach
Entering his 10th season as the head coach of Frisco ISD's most consistently excellent program, Rayburn has helped turn the Rangers into a juggernaut. With a 91-25 overall record as a head coach, including a state championship appearance back in 2015, Rayburn certainly has the pedigree and experience to be a splashy hire. Known for his high-flying offenses and disciplined squads, the question will be whether or not Rayburn would want to leave a program he's helped knock on the door of the Texas high school football elite.
Marcus Shavers, McKinney head coach
Few people know Allen like Marcus Shavers. An Allen native and an AHS alumnus, Shavers is rapidly becoming one of the hottest names in Texas high school football after a dazzling debut at Lubbock Estacado before moving back to the Metroplex at McKinney. And it's not like he'd need to get up to speed on the program, considering his Lions are district bunkmates with Allen. Known statewide as a supremely talented culture builder and one heck of a ball coach, one must wonder if coaching his alma mater would be a dream job; it'd certainly be a home run hire.
Tristan Weber, Allen offensive coordinator
Perhaps a dark horse in the search, few can boast a Texas high school football blue blood tour like Weber. After a lengthy stint on the staff at Highland Park under legendary coach Randy Allen, he moved on to Southlake Carroll to be on the staff for Riley Dodge before moving to Allen to be Chad Morris' offensive coordinator. Another option as an internal hire, Weber doesn't have any head coaching experience, but that's been considered a matter of "when" as opposed to "if." And if the Eagles want to get in on the ground floor and give him his first shot at the big chair, Weber would be a very intriguing choice.
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