AP NEWS

Memorial, Sam Rayburn looking for new head football coaches

March 1, 2019

On the final weekend of the 2017 high school football season, Pasadena head coach Jeff Ganske, South Houston’s Dwayne Lane, Sam Rayburn’s Shaun Wynn, Memorial’s Chris Quillian and Dobie’s Michael Norman all bid adieu to the campaign.

Now just over 15 months later, incredibly all five have departed their respective posts.

This week, the exodus became complete when Pasadena ISD Athletic Director Rupert Jaso announced that Quillian and Wynn have submitted their resignations.

Their departures come just as the school district filled Pasadena High School’s vacancy Tuesday night by naming David Zapien as Ganske’s replacement.

Never in the modern history of PISD athletics have three head football coaches stepped down in one offseason. There’s been two as recently as the 2017 offseason when Lane and Norman stepped aside, but never three.

“We’ll address those two vacancies. We’re looking to see what best fits those two campuses, just like we did at Pasadena High. If everything goes as it should, our plan is to have a decision for the March board meeting,” Jaso said Wednesday night.

It means Memorial and Sam Rayburn could have new head coaches on the night of March 26.

No matter who lands the two jobs, they’ll have to hit the ground running since only 60 days will remain in the school year and will it be enough time to conduct spring drills around the first of May? Or will the new men elect to wait for an extra week of workouts in August?

Quillian, just Memorial’s third head coach in its 15 years, is stepping down after seven seasons at the helm, the longest stint for a Mavs head football coach in the 15-year history of the school.

John Snelson, who Quillian replaced, had held the title when he was Memorial’s head coach for six seasons.

Quillian steps aside with a 31-41 won-loss record, four more games than Snelson coached at the school.

Quillian guided Memorial to four state playoff berths, but losing in the bi-district round to La Porte in 2012, Beaumont West Brook in 2013, North Shore in 2016 and Atascocita in 2017.

Quillian’s clubs fashioned a 21-7 won-loss record against the other Pasadena ISD camps, but outside the district, Memorial struggled mightily, going 10-34.

He didn’t have a great deal of trouble with the teams outside of the district in his first year which was arguably his best campaign when the Mavs went 8-3 overall and 5-2 in district. The eight wins were Memorial’s most since the 2009 campaign.

Memorial started the year 3-0, before sweeping the PISD competition and defeating Alvin in the season finale to clinch that first playoff berth.

Quillian’s best season as far as district was concerned was the 2017 campaign when the team took an unbeaten record into the season finale with Deer Park. But in an old-fashioned battle of the unbeatens, Deer Park prevailed 42-24.

For Wynn, the former North Shore High School assistant coach, he is stepping down from the Rayburn post with the three-season won-loss record of 2-26.

Wynn inherited a school record 26-game losing streak, but when Rayburn defeated Aldine 27-18 in Week 2 of the 2016 season, all were ecstatic, hoping that a corner had been turned.

Unfortunately, no corner was turned, just more disappointment was waiting around the corner.

Wynn also couldn’t catch a break. In addition to inheriting a losing streak, he also inherited a 1,000-yard rusher in Stanley Hackett. But after a monster junior year that garnered Hackett a unanimous selection on the all-district team, Hackett left the program during his senior year.

Rayburn’s new head football coach will be the 10th in the program’s 55-year history. The program had just five head coaches in its opening 39 seasons, but have matched that total since the 2003 season.

The new man will now inherit an 18-game losing streak and like Zapien, he’ll be hoping the next UIL realignment will produce a kinder, friendlier district that a struggling program like Rayburn can do a better job of competing in.

ravery@hcnonline.com