The Texas High School Coaches’ Association’s annual coaching school is underway in Houston, where each of the state’s FBS head coaches makes like a politician to shake the hands of the people that hold a large sway over their professional futures.
Baylor’s Matt Rhule — who has never lived or worked in Texas before his Baylor hiring, but has since operated like he got here as fast as he could — told the assembled crowd that his staff will not recruit boarding schools that pull players away from Texas high schools.
Seeing that stance reminded me of this news item from February 2016, when the president of the THSCA penned an op-ed against IMG Academy.
As president of THSCA, I would like to make you aware of a growing movement that I feel can destroy our profession as we know it. At the current moment, IMG Academy has actively recruited three of our top Texas high school football players to play their senior season for their traveling football team. The reason given for these young athletes to attend this academy is to better prepare for the next level of competition. I adamantly disagree with that reasoning. With every fiber of my body, I feel that the best people to prepare them for the next level are YOU, the COACHES IN THIS STATE. It is my opinion these athletes were cherry picked to attend these academies to build their resumes. The intent is for other athletes with big dreams to also attend these academies for a large price. The paying athletes would attend hoping for the same opportunities as those that were recruited. You, as the coaches, can stand proud knowing that WE are in this business not to profit off of our athletes.
The coach who wrote that was Brenham’s Glen West. West was succeeded as THSCA’s president by San Antonio Reagan head coach David Wetzel.
Wetzel was one of three Texas high school coaches hired by Rhule shortly after taking the Baylor job — Cedar Hill coach Joey McGuire is now Baylor’s tight ends coach, Round Rock Cedar Ridge coach (and former Baylor quarterback) Shawn Bell is now an offensive analyst, while Wetzel works as associate AD for football relations.
There’s a bit of political strategy in Rhule’s new policy, quite possibly influenced by Wetzel. Five-star dual-threat quarterback Kellen Mond committed to Baylor’s previous staff, but signed with Texas A&M in February after leaving his San Antonio high school to conclude his high school career at IMG Academy.
The high school coach that lost Mond to IMG? You guessed it: David Wetzel.