Defensive guru Lonnie Madison this offseason took the reigns as the new head coach at College Park High, which in his old stomping grounds.
Madison grew up in The Woodlands, where he attended Knox Middle School, which is in the area where College Park is now. He went on to McCullough High School, and was in the first graduating class at The Woodlands High School.
He made a career as a defensive coordinator who helped turn around struggling programs. Now, he takes over a Cavalier program in dire need.
The College Park Cavaliers went 1-9 in 2016, with the lone win against Conroe, who didn’t win a district game. College Park’s defense allowed 40 points a game, including 63 in the regular-season finale to crosstown rival The Woodlands, which marched all the way to a state runner-up finish.
After Madison took over as coordinator in 2008 for a Klein Collins team that had gone 2-18 over the previous two years, the Tigers went 18-4 over 2008 and 2009.
In his return to Klein Collins in 2014, the Tigers went from a 4-6 team to an 11-2 team. In 2015 the Tigers went 9-2, and last year he helped guide Collins to the state semifinal, where they lost to eventual Class 6A state champ DeSoto, 42-31.
College Park needs a turn around, and it needs one quickly. The Cavaliers made the playoffs in 2014 and 2015 despite an overall record of 3-8 each year. College Park hasn’t had a winning season since the 6-5 campaign in 2011.
Madison’s other coaching stops have also included Brazoswood, Oak Ridge, Clear Brook and Magnolia along with his two separate stops at Klein Collins.
DL Anthony Tanguma, QB Jordan Turnquest, RB Tucker Woody
Woody averaged 84.5 yards per game while Turnquest passed for 950 yards and seven touchdowns while adding 10 more rushing scores. Tanguma was a first-team all-district lineman.
WR Chase Lane, TE Austin Fox, SS Cooper Lucas
Lane was the only Cavalier who made first-team all-district after catching 42 passes for 415 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore. Lucas was second on the team with 87 tackles last year as a junior.
Madison will get to work on defense immediately. He has been successful with a 3-4 defense, utilizing a hybrid safety who can double as a linebacker — and he said it’s like playing nickel defense on every down.
Madison said the offense will be in shotgun most of the time, and the spread will resemble that of University of Houston.
If history is any indicator, the Cavaliers should turn around rather quickly. A 5-5 season and playoff appearance is not out of the question. When rebuilding a program, it takes small steps and goals.
If the players buy into Madison’s program during the offseason, then expect to see the Cavaliers storm into the postseason.
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