ABILENE, Texas (BCH Sports)– Vince Lombardi once said the man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.
These men didn’t take a tumble after climbing to the top of their mountain of history making high school football coaches across the state of Texas.
We start with Steve Warren, Abilene High head football coach from 1996-2014, Warren may not necessarily be in the record books in overall wins, but he led the Eagles to a state football championship in 2009 for the first time since 1950’s.
Steve Warren said, “I guess taking a program like Abilene High was when we took over, to where it was when we left, I retired in 2015 and that’s kind of a big footprint. We did some special things over there on N. 6th and Shelton. There’s no question about it and a lot of wins on the field, but certainly a lot of wins off the field as well.”
He retired in 2015 and began working for a local oil company owned by local people.
Warren added, “The Barry’s hired me in 2015 and after I retired we had talked about that for a couple of years and I always knew I wanted to do something else when I still was able to and the time was right and I stepped in over here and I just love it.”
Moving to South Abilene, when you walk into Wylie’s football stadium, named after legendary coach Hugh Sandifer, you’ll see a life size statue of the coach. Hugh was the head coach for 34 years and won the school’s only state football championship in 2004.
Hugh Sandifer said, “I originally came here in 1979 and told my wife, who we were just engaged at the time, we’d be here one year. And I stayed 41 years here at Wylie. So, Abilene and Abilene Wylie are a very special community and a very special school and I was the one that was very blessed to work with such great kids, great coaches.”
Sandifer chose to hang up the headset in 2020 and still resides close by the field and cheers on the Bulldogs to this day.
Sandifer added, “So I’m still in Abilene. I keep up with the Wylie Bulldogs and I’ve tried to make sure I do it from afar.”
The Aledo Bearcats are 143 miles east of here. Tim Buchanan joined the coaching staff in the early 90’s and helped pave the way to five state titles before taking some time off in 2014 but returned in 2019 as the head coach to earn three more titles in 4 years and 81 total playoff wins.
Tim Buchanan said, “Being a coach in the state of Texas is one of the best jobs in the world. When you love what you do, and then when you have success doing a job that you love, there’s nothing better. It’s been 40 fun years.”
The coach became satisfied with his coaching tenure in 2022 with the feeling of accomplishing all he could and calling his last play and announced his retirement shortly after Aledo’s state championship last December. He now helps build fields for high schools.
Buchanan added, “I’m still around, I still go by the school at least once every two or three days and see the coaches and see the kids. I went to work for Paragon Sports Constructors and so I’m working as a salesman for them.”
Denney Faith is the fifth winningest coach in txhsfb history. He’s been coaching for 41 years, 36 of those as the head coach for the Albany Lions and has racked up 344 wins and just won his first state championship.
Denney Faith said, “Very humbling I can tell you that. I never when I started 42 years ago, I never thought that I could be in this position. So it’s something that you really don’t know exactly how important or how hard it is to get into this position until you’ve done it.”
Faith added, “Still head football coach at Albany, Texas. Still love practice everyday, probably the preparation on the weekend and the practices during the week are the best parts of the job to me.”
Less than 60 miles north of the metroplex in Pilot Point, Texas GA Moore resides on his family’s ranch. Moore has quite the resume of accolades at Pilot Point and Celina. He coached for 44 years, with a five year retirement between 2004-2009. With eight total state championships, and 426 total wins. G.A. Moore is ranked third in wins overall across the state.
G.A. Moore said, “When I started out, I just wanted to play football and be associated with the sport and gah-lee I fell in love with it when I was in high school and then in college and everything just fell into place. The Lord blessed me so much because it’s been a great, great life for me.”
Lastly, in the center of the metroplex former Cooper Cougar Randy Allen is the head coach of the Highland Park Scots. Allen coached at Cooper for eight seasons in the 90’s where he led them to a state championship game appearance in 1996. Since being at Highland Park, he brought home four state championships. He’s going into his 43rd year as a coach, with 435 wins ranking him second overall and he’s not planning to hang it up anytime soon.
Randy Allen said, “I need to be in it because a lot of people have hobbies, a lot of people go fishing or play golf, my hobby is football. I get energy and those young guys keep me young, those players. They’re the reasons why I stay in it. Just the impact I can have on them and they can have on me.”