40 COACHES UNDER 40: The Best Young Coaches in Texas in 2023

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For the fourth consecutive year, Dave Campbell's Texas Football is proud to honor 40 of the rising stars in the coaching ranks across the Lone Star State with our annual 40 Under 40. These young coaches represent the future of football in Texas — and you'd better learn their names sooner rather than later.

Kyle Cooper
SMU safeties coach and special teams coordinator 

Cooper moves to the role of safeties coach and special teams coordinator in 2023 having spent the 2022 season leading the outside linebacker room after a two-year stint at Miami.

Demerick Gary
North Texas defensive line coach

Gary joins North Texas as a member of Eric Morris’ first staff in Denton after spending 2022 as a graduate assistant and assistant defensive line coach at Houston. Gary is a South Dallas native who starred at SMU. He was previously at Houston and Arkansas.  

Mack Leftwich
Texas State offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach

Leftwich engineered a UIW offense that won quarterback Lindsey Scott a Walter Payton Award last year. He moves up to the FBS ranks as the QB coach and OC for G.J. Kinne at Texas State. 

Joe Price
UTSA wide receivers coach

The UTSA wide receiver room flirted with producing three 1,000-yard receivers a year ago. Price was a Texas high school football coach prior to his move to the collegiate ranks. 

Daikel Shorts
Houston wide receivers coach

Shorts enters his third year in charge of Houston’s wide receivers. Nathaniel Dell led FBS in receiving yards and touchdowns on Shorts’ charge in 2022. His position group is deep in 2023.

Tashard Choice
Texas wide receivers coach

Choice led a running back room headlined by Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson, and he helped the Longhorns sign five-star C.J. Baxter in the 2023 recruiting cycle. 

Stephen Hamby
Texas Tech offensive line coach

The Texas Tech offensive line improved as the season went along in year one under Hamby. He was an offensive lineman for the Red Raiders from 2005 to 2008. 

Eric Mateos
Baylor offensive line coach

The wide zone rushing attack deployed by Baylor is one of the toughest to stop in college football. Mateos’ offensive line is at the heart of it. 

T.J. Rushing
Texas A&M defensive backs coach

The Aggies led the FBS in passing defense despite a five-win season. The Wrecking Crew defense should continue to dominant on the back end with Rushing in charge. 

Trevin Wade
UTEP cornerbacks coach

Wade joined UTEP’s staff in 2020 following six seasons in the NFL. He was a three-year starter at Arizona and a two-time All-Pac 12 selection. 

Marco Relagdo
Rice director of player personnel 

A former Texas high school football coach, Regalado led Rice’s recruiting efforts in a 2023 class that ranked highest in school history. Regalado also spent time at Washington State. 


Skyler Cassity
Abilene Christian head coach

The Wildcats allowed 20.5 points per game, which led the Western Athletic Conference in Cassity’s first year as a defensive coordinator. He’s on the fast-track to an FBS position.

Barry Derickson
Sul Ross State head coach

Derickson took over as interim head coach before the 2022 season and led the Lobos to their best record since 2017 in his first season as head coach at any level.

Kris McCullough
UT-Permian Basin head coach

A rising star, McCullough was named Falcons head coach after leading East Central to a 9-3 record and has brought high expectations with him to the Permian Basin.

Joe Morris
Sam Houston defensive coordinator

A former NCAA Division II coach, his career accelerated after leading a top-ranked West Texas A&M defense as a defensive coordinator. Morris quickly climbed the coaching ladder with the Bearkats.

Isiah Archer
Newcastle head coach

After stops in Loop, Motley County, Rule and Lorenzo, Archer landed in Newcastle and quickly revitalized the program, taking the Bobcats to their best season since 2015.

Zach Birdwell
Tioga head coach

Birdwell has been the offensive coordinator for some potent offensive attacks at Groveton, Lindsay and Lubbock Coronado and he gets his chance to be a head coach at fast-growing Tioga. 

Ben Bitner
Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial head coach

Since being promoted from OC in 2021, Bitner has posted a stellar 24-5 record in two seasons leading the Eagles to the Class 5A-Division I state semifinals in 2022. 

Will Blaylock
Lubbock Estacado head coach

In his first season on the Eastside, Blaylock led the Matadors to the area playoffs and a 7-5 mark despite moving up to 4A-Division I in the 2022 realignment. 

Stephen Brosch
Granger head coach

Brosch has helped turn Granger into a small-school power in Central Texas posting a 30-7 record in three seasons, the Lions were a Class 2A-Division II regional finalist in 2022. 

Trey Bryant
Richardson Berkner head coach

Bryant returned to his alma mater in 2021 to be head coach and in two seasons has the arrow firmly pointed up for Berkner after making the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. 

Rod Castorena
Cooper head coach

After cutting his teeth as an assistant at powerhouse Gunter, Castorena is turning Cooper into a power with a 43-13 record in five seasons, including a 13-1 mark in 2022. 

Kelvin Chatham
Aldine Davis head coach

After helping Houston Washington to a 10-1 mark in 2022 in just his second season as a head coach, Chatham returns home to Aldine ISD where he will lead Aldine Davis in 2023. 

Kyle Coats
The Woodlands College Park head coach

Coats gets his first head coaching job at The Woodlands College Park after helping DeSoto to the Class 6A-Division II state title as the Eagles co-defensive coordinator. 

Ray Garza
Alvin Iowa Colony head coach

Garza, who was an assistant for Shadow Creek’s state championship team in 2019, started Iowa Colony’s football program from scratch in 2022 and many believe the Pioneers are poised for a breakout 2023 season. 

Tyler Goodwin
Nazareth head coach

The son of six-man icon Toby Goodwin, he needed just two seasons at the helm to bring the Swifts to their first 10-win season since 2007, and the best is still yet to come.

Jeremy Hickman
Fort Stockton head coach

In his first season at his alma mater, Hickman got Fort Stockton in a frenzy as the Panthers posted their best season in school history, a 10-2 mark and just their third trip to the area round of the playoffs. 

Vernon Hughes
Pflugerville Weiss head coach

Hughes has been one of the most well-thought of assistants in the Austin area for a few years and is getting his chance as a head coach replacing his mentor Steve Van Metter at Pflugerville Weiss. 

Stephen Jackson
Seagoville head coach

Jackson, who made his name as an assistant under Chris Ross at Red Oak and Reginald Samples at Duncanville got his chance to be a head coach in 2022 and led Seagoville to a 6-5 mark and a playoff appearance with an extremely young team. 

Jeff Joseph
Port Neches-Groves head coach

Joseph in his first season at PNG took the Indians all the way to the 5A-Division II state title game as he looks to carve out his own legacy in his famous coaching family. 

Devon Mann
Santo head coach

The flexbone is alive and well in Santo as Coach Mann in his six seasons leading the Wildcats has posted an impressive 52-19 record and SHS is off their best season in Mann’s tenure posting an 11-2 mark in 2022. 

Ben McGehee
Magnolia West head coach

McGhee, who in six years at Sweetwater and Magnolia West has a solid 41-27 overall record. In two seasons at Magnolia West he’s led the Mustangs to the area playoffs in back-to-back seasons. 

TP Miller
San Antonio Johnson head coach

Miller, who took over for mentor Mark Soto at Johnson in 2022, defied expectations with a young team as the Jaguars posted a 7-4 mark and a playoff appearance. 

Tyler Morton
Atlanta head coach

Morton, who crossed state lines from Arkansas to take over Atlanta after a disastrous 0-10 mark in 2021, authored a total turn-around in his first year as the Rabbits posted a 7-4 mark and a playoff appearance. 

Jeremy Mullins
Tolar head coach

In six years at Tolar, Mullins’ teams have shown steady improvement and 2022 was their best season yet as Tolar posted a 13-1 mark and advanced to the regional finals in Class 2A-Division I. 

Gage Perry
Robstown head coach

Perry, who is considered one of the top young offensive minds on the Gulf Coast made major strides in his first season at Robstown in 2022 and he has RHS fans hopeful for a playoff experience in 2023. 

Fred Staugh
Monahans head coach

Staugh in six seasons as a head coach at McCamey and Monahans has a 43-29 overall record, in his four years at Monahans, the Loboes have improved every year, posting a 10-4 mark in 2022 and advancing to the 4A-Division II regional finals. 

Rafael Thomas
Houston Yates head coach

Thomas, who has roots in East Texas took a young Yates team to the playoffs in his first season at the helm, an accomplishment considering he was not hired until July 5. 

Correy Washington
Bryan Brazos Christian head coach

After helping build Austin Brentwood, Washington moved to Bryan Brazos Christian and immediately made his impact felt, surging into the TAPPS Division IV state semifinals.

Riley White
Lubbock Trinity Christian head coach

A former head coach in Alabama, White takes over the program from his offensive coordinator role, where he helped architect a run to the TAPPS Division III state semifinals.

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