Daniel Maberry ascended to the Mansfield High School football head coaching job the old fashioned way – he worked his way there. The longtime assistant was officially handed the proverbial keys to the car last week and will now look to put his own stamp on a program he has helped build for well over a decade.
“I’ve been a part of every playoff win we’ve had in Mansfield High School history,” he noted.
Maberry spent the past four seasons as the Tigers’ offensive coordinator, but his history with the school, and the school district, stretches back much further. Maberry started at Worley Middle School 18 years ago. After four years there, he was moved up to the high school, spending two years as a freshman coach before joining Kirk Thor’s staff as a varsity assistant.
“I’ve been at Mansfield for a long time and I’ve known a lot of great people,” Maberry said.
He was retained when Jeff Hulme took over in 2008 and spent the last four years coordinating an offense that has been noted for its ground-and-pound approach in an era of more high-flying styles. So don’t expect the Tigers’ attack to suddenly look much different.
“I think we’ve had success at Mansfield, so I don’t think we need drastic changes,” he said.
But changes are coming, as is inevitable with any change in head coach.
“Obviously I want to put my own stamp on things because I’m not Coach Hulme,” Maberry said. “I’m different from Coach Hulme, but a lot of the things we did here under him were very successful.”
Another thing that won’t change much is the coaching staff. Most of the varsity assistants will remain, which Maberry believes will be a positive for the team.
“I think that’s important in any program,” he said. “If you’ve had success and you keep that continuity and you have the same coaches in place, it’s going to be a huge benefit. I’ve been blessed to be around a lot of great coaches and a lot of those still want to stay and be a part of Mansfield High School.”
The players have also responded positively to the news of Maberry’s promotion.
“The reception I got from the kids was awesome,” he said. “I’ve been with them for a long time. I’ve seen them grow up, so they were very excited for me.”
The players have been going through offseason workouts, and Maberry insists having interim head coach Steve Lineweaver – best known for his success at Euless Trinity – only helped.
“Lineweaver has been a total blessing. Just being around him and the wisdom that he has was nothing but a benefit,” Maberry said, also giving credit to the players for having a great attitude throughout the hiring process. “Nobody missed a beat. Everybody was going through the offseason just like we had a head coach.”
It’s also often important that high school coaches have the backing of the community, or it can make for a tenuous relationship. Maberry insists it’s been all good so far.
“Support from the entire community was unbelievable,” he said. “I probably answered about 200 emails from people just congratulating me. The support has been amazing.”