For several reasons, high school football coaches tend to come and go.
For some, it’s jumping at the chance to head up a great program. Others take their first opportunity to be a head coach after serving as a coordinator. There are promotions after the head coach leaves. Finally, sometimes coaches didn’t want to leave.
North Texas has seen seven notable changes. Regardless of the name or location or classification, each new head coach has a handful.
Most of them are coming off their bye week and about to begin district play. This is a good time to take a snapshot of how it’s going so far.
Carlos Lynn, Cedar Hill, (1-2), replaced Joey McGuire
Notable: Lynn served at McGuire’s defensive coordinator from 2003-2007 before he went to Arlington Seguin in 2008. When McGuire took the tight end coaching position at Baylor, Lynn was the heavy favorite to replace him. Cedar Hill has played a pretty demanding schedule early, with opening season losses to No. 1 Allen and Mansfield. The Longhorns defeated Mesquite Horn before they hit the bye week. This program opens District 7-6A in the annual South Dallas County showdown with defending Class 6A Division II state champion DeSoto at DeSoto on Friday.
Mike Alexander, Grapevine, (2-1), replaced Randy Jackson
Notable: Alexander was promoted from his position as defensive coordinator. The Mustangs had some heavy losses in the defensive front seven to replace. However, the offense hasn’t missed a step with four-year starting quarterback Alan Bowman. Grapevine’s hopes of contending for at least a share of the District 8-5A championship likely will come down to Oct. 20 meeting with Richland and Oct. 27 meeting with rival Colleyville Heritage. It opens Friday agaisnt Fort Worth Poly.
Casey Walraven, Cleburne (0-3), replaced Jeff Merket
Notable: Walraven enjoyed a successful 43-15 five-year stint at Grandview and guided that program to the playoffs in the last four. However, he walked into a pretty tense situation. Merket resigned earlier in the spring and later filed a discrimination charge against the Cleburne ISD. It’s been a rough start for the Yellow Jackets. They lost their first three games by at least 18 points. But they’re hoping their fortunes will improve as 9-5A play begins at Everman on Friday.
Joe Gordon, Arlington Seguin (1-2), replaced Carlos Lynn
Notable: The former Arlington High defensive coordinator gets his chance to demonstrate how he can run a program. The Cougars are a borderline playoff team and have to beat the right people in order to return to the postseason after doing so in 2016. To this point, Seguin has not been a robust offensive team. It’s reached 20 points only once. District 9-5A play begins Friday at Joshua.
Billy Mathis, Weatherford (0-4), replaced Weldon Nelms
Notable: Mathis enjoyed a great run as Aledo’s defensive coordinator for the previous three seasons before getting first his chance to run a football program. It’s been a lot of heartbreak for the Kangaroos to this point. They’ve lost three of their first four games by six points or less. They open District 3-6A play Thursday at Keller.
Kevin Atkinson, Flower Mound Marcus, (2-1), replaced Gerry Stanford
Notable: The former Marcus assistant has returned home after a successful run at Denton High. The Marauders could be the surprise of District 5-6A because they have one of the most dynamic running backs in the area in Justin Dinka. Dinka is coming off a 1,734-yard season in 2016 and is well on his way to breaking 1,000 yards this fall. Marcus defeated Mansfield, 31-14, a week after Mansfield had defeated Cedar Hill. District 5-6A play begins Friday at Hurst L.D. Bell.
Ellis Miller, Haslet V.R. Eaton (1-2), replaced Brad Turner
Notable: Miller, Eaton’s defensive coordinator, was promoted during spring football after Turner was promoted to take an athletic administrative position within the Northwest ISD. The program is in its second year of varsity competition. The Eagles endured a pretty emotional 29-28 loss to Frisco Independence when a victory-formation snap went awry. The Eagles are considered a borderline District 6-5A playoff contender led by running back Titus Swen and quarterback Riley Taylor. District play begins Thursday against rival Justin Northwest.