AP NEWS

Dudley returns to Cinco Ranch as head coach

May 28, 2019

The Cinco Ranch football team bid a fond farewell to its only coach this year, as Don Clayton announced his retirement in April.

The Cougars still have a sense of continuity. Longtime assistant coach Chris Dudley returns to the program as head coach/campus athletic coordinator after a successful year as assistant head coach/defensive coordinator at James E. Taylor.

Dudley was officially set to begin his new job May 21 after the hire was approved by the Katy ISD Board of Trustees during its monthly work study meeting May 20.

The Duquesne University graduate joined the CRHS staff prior to the 2002-03 school year and was an assistant football coach for the 2003-17 seasons.

The Cougars were one of the area’s most consistent teams during that stretch, winning eight games or more 12 times and becoming one of six teams in the Houston area to make the playoffs 12 consecutive seasons.

Cinco Ranch has won one district championship, nine bi-district championships, four area titles and two regional crowns (2009, 2016) since Clayton started the program in 1999.

“I have had the privilege to work with many of the head coaches at Cinco Ranch for several years and can leverage those great relationships to help bring Cougar athletics to the next level of excellence,” Dudley told Katy ISD. “I’m also honored to follow in the footsteps of Coach Don Clayton, who helped build an elite program over a 20-year period.”

Dudley joined fellow former Cougars assistant Chad Simmons at Taylor last year, helping the Mustangs finish 6-6, highlighted by their third playoff win in four years. He was nominated for 2019 Greater Houston Football Coaches Association Assistant of the Year.

The Mustangs ranked among the region’s top 10 playoff teams last season with a defensive average of 18.3 points per game. Dickinson was the only team to score more than 27 points against Taylor in a 35-7 victory.

Dudley takes over a Cinco Ranch team looking to rebound from first losing season since 2007. The Cougars finished 3-7, though one of their wins against 10-3 area champion Tompkins.

Top returning players include all-district senior guard Carlos Abascal, senior punter Roger Sanguinetti (30.2 average, 10 inside 20), senior safety Brady Matthews (34 tackles), senior cornerback Carson King (22 tackles, interception return for touchdown), senior linebacker Sam Owen (10 tackles, two fumble recoveries), junior defensive lineman Luke Long (seven tackles, fumble recovery) and junior running back G.J. Kelly (130 rushing yards, TD).

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press.All rights reserved.