Stephen Lee departs Cisco for Tarleton; Charlie Rizzio elevated to head coach

Photo courtesy Cisco Athletics

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The Cisco football program will have its third head football coach in three seasons in 2024 after Stephen Lee accepted an assistant coaching position at Tarleton, where he will coach tight ends. Cisco defensive coordinator Charlie Rizzio will be elevated to head coach, sources have confirmed to Dave Campbell’s Texas Basketball.

Lee will coach the tight ends for the Texans after leading the Wranglers to a 4-4 overall record, including a 3-4 mark in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference last season. In late March last year, Lee was named head coach and nearly led the Wranglers to the SWJCFC playoffs in his first season as a collegiate head coach.

One of the top offensive minds in college football, Lee helped lead Abilene Christian to a 7-4 record in his lone season as offensive coordinator for the Wildcats. He spent seven seasons as offensive coordinator at Mary Hardin-Baylor, where Lee helped lead the Cru to three national championships. Lee has twice been named a finalist for Coach of the Year by

Before joining ACU, Lee was the offensive coordinator at West Texas A&M for five years, where the Buffs set an NCAA Division II record for passing yards (5,544) and led the country in passing touchdowns (57). Other stops on Lee’s resume include Howard Payne, Western New Mexico, and Brenham High School.

When he accepted the Cisco job, Rizzio was one of Lee’s first hires. Before joining the Wranglers, Rizzio coached linebackers at Missouri Western State for three seasons. Rizzio mentored linebacker Evan Chohon, who was nominated for the Harlon Hill Trophy, the Heisman Trophy of Division II football.

The Seymour, Conn. native has made stops at Nevada, Yale, Eastern New Mexico, Southern Connecticut, and West Texas A&M. Before coaching in the collegiate ranks, Rizzio spent six years as head coach at Oxford High School in Connecticut, where he served as defensive coordinator, head track coach, and strength and conditioning coordinator.

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