Jamal Fenner, who has spent the past five seasons as the head football coach at LBJ High School, has joined the Texas Longhorns program as the new High School Relations Director.
Who is Jamal Fenner?
A native of Austin, Fenner graduated from Reagan High School, now known as Northeast High School, in 2001. He played quarterback for the Raiders under Andrew Jackson, who later became Fenner’s coaching mentor. Fenner also played basketball and baseball in high school and was named Athlete of the Year by Reagan both as a junior and as a senior.
He graduated from UTEP and played for the Pitmen. After graduation, he played in the Arena Football League for Amarillo and then was a defensive coordinator for the Oklahoma City Bombers before joining the LBJ coaching staff, which was led by Jackson.
More:City brawl: The LBJ football team rarely plays for Austin ISD, a big city school in championship games.
Fenner leaves big shoes to fill in LBJ
Fenner took over the LBJ program in 2018 after Jackson’s death. In his five years as head coach, Fenner led LBJ to the most successful milestone in school history, including an appearance in the program in the 2021 Class 4A Division I title game, his first state title game appearance. Overall, he went 49-13 with 11 LBJ playoff wins.
More:Golden: LBJ state title game made Austin proud
What does a Texas High School Relations Director do?
Fenner seems like a natural choice to be UT’s director of high school relations, especially after the Austin native raised his profile and ties list across the state following the Jaguars’ recent playoff success.
An important recruiting component for the Texas football program is the high school liaison position, which serves as the liaison between the Longhorns and the state’s high school football coaches. Position also plays a big role for recruits, especially when visiting campus.
Chris Gilbert has filled the role for the last two seasons with the Longhorns, and veteran Texas high school coach Bob Shipley has filled the role for Tom Herman.
What happened to Chris Gilbert?
Gilbert was recently hired as an assistant head coach/tight ends coach in North Texas. This will be the first collegiate coaching job for the Dallas native, a longtime high school football coach who has run programs at Terrell, Lancaster and his alma mater, South Oak Cliff.
What’s next for LBJ?
LBJ in the Austin school district becomes the fourth local school to need a head coach, joining Lehman, Bartlett and La Grange. It’s also one of the most attractive high school jobs in the Austin area, based on her legacy of winning as well as her established talent pool. LBJ has made the playoffs for 18 consecutive seasons. Fenner says 44 LBJ players have signed university scholarships since 2018, including recent FBS recruits like Latrell McCutchin (USC), Andrew Mukuba (Clemson), Cedric Alexander (Vanderbilt), Latreveon McCutchin (Houston), Sean Fresh ( Rice) and Caleb Brown. (Texas-San Antonio).