Two of the new coaches who will be joining Zack Hudson’s football coaching staff at Howe have already reported for duty, and last week we got the opportunity to visit with both.
Danny Barber, Hudson’s defensive coordinator at Weimar last season, joins the Bulldog staff where he will have the same duties.
Barber is a native of Centerville and a Texas State University graduate who began his coaching career in 2003 at Shepherd High School, a class 3A school located just northeast of Conroe. In 2004, Barber coached at Corsicana Mildred and the following season he joined the staff at Navasota.
“I spent seven years at Navasota and that’s where my influences come from.” Barber said.
In his last five seasons with the Rattlers the team reached the regional quarterfinals each year. In the 2010 and 2011 seasons the team went unbeaten in district play.
Barber was the co-defensive coordinator at Navasota during his last two years with the team, helping develop future college players Trey Rauscek, who attended Texas State, and Gaston Lamascus, who plays at Texas A&M.
Last year Barber joined Hudson on the Wildcats coaching staff at Weimar as defensive coordinator and helped lead the team to its first district championship since 1982. He has been impressed with what he has seen so far as the Bulldogs go through off-season workouts.
“They are a bunch of hard working kids, they are coachable, and we just need time to get some consistency and get our system going,” Barber said.
We asked,(probably an unfair question considering his limited exposure to the team) Barber to compare the Howe player’s size to those in Weimar, another class 2A school.
“We actually have some bigger kids here.” Barber said. “The Howe kids are going to stack up well, in size, with all of the teams in that district.”
Barber said the biggest challenge they will face is getting that consistency and getting everyone on the same page.
“We talked a lot about the success at Navasota but when we started there, it was a 3-7 team.”
He explained that there’s a big difference in having fast kids and having teams that can play fast.
Barber will teach special education at Howe. He and his wife Alicia have two girls; Addison who is six and Avery who is one.
The Bulldogs’ new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach will be Nick Grimes. He has also been working with the team during the summer workouts and has seen some things he likes in the young Bulldogs.
“They are hard workers, smart kids who will fix it quick if they mess up,” he said.
Grimes started his high school career at A&M Consolidated in College Station, where he was an all-state offensive lineman in his junior season. He finished high school at Rose Hill High School in Greenville, N.C. on a team that won the state championship. He made the all-state team in his senior season and played in the Shrine Bowl All-Star game that pitted teams from North and South Carolina.
After a year at the University of Tulsa, Grimes transferred to Sam Houston State where he finished his playing career as the the Southland Conference’s Offensive Lineman of the Year.
After a year in private business, Grimes joined the coaching staff at Navasota in 2010.
In his three seasons at Navasota, Grimes helped develop players such as Tyler White, who went on to East Texas Baptist University, and Jeremiah Williams, a player at Mary Hardin Baylor University.
The obvious highlight of Grimes’ stint at Navasota was the team’s 2012 state championship run.
On June 15, Grimes was married. He and his wife Cortney are looking forward to beginning the new season in Howe.
Two more new coaches will join the Bulldog coaching staff next week as Torrey Ognoski and Mark Sevarino will be coming to Howe.