Brandon Houston will make the 110-mile trip down U.S. 79 from Buffalo to Taylor after he was confirmed as the new Taylor head football coach and athletic director at a board meeting on Monday night.
Houston is tasked with turning around a football program that is currently on a 20-game winless run. He will take over for Robert Little, who stepped down after two seasons at the helm.
“Coach Houston stood out because of his focus on the entire athletic program, approach to building a winning culture, and high expectations for students and staff members,” Taylor ISD Superintendent Dr. Devin Padavil said. “We believe his mindset will be a culture change for Taylor ISD athletics.”
Houston comes to Taylor with three successful seasons under his belt from his time at Buffalo, where he finished with a 32-6 overall record and took the Bison to their first-ever regional finals appearance this past season.
“I love Buffalo. The community has been great to me and my family. It has been one of the best experiences in my professional career,” Houston said. “With that being said, my love of Central Texas will always be strong. I grew up in Holland, Texas, which is about 20 minutes north of Taylor. So the decision to leave Buffalo was influenced by my desire to be near my family and friends.”
Houston is a veteran of the coaching industry with nearly 25 years of coaching experience dating back to 1996, when he started as a coach at Ector Junior High in Odessa.
He has plenty of offensive expertise to bring with him to Taylor. He served as a passing game coordinator at Grapevine High School (1999-2004) before holding the offensive coordinator positions at Belton (2005-2007), Lorena (2008-2014), and Rockdale (2016-2017).
And although they averaged just 12.1 points per game this season, the Ducks do have an offensive centerpiece for Houston to build around in dual-threat quarterback Bryson Bass, who had a number of big performances this year as a sophomore, including a 135-yard rushing and two touchdown performance in the season opener against Robinson.
“We will be making scheme changes, especially on the offensive side,” Houston said. “Our goal this spring is to evaluate and identify the skill set of our players, [and] then place them into the role that best suits the team. Our mindset isn’t going to be “win” but to “compete” against ourselves.”
When he takes over the job next season, Houston will look to return the Ducks to the heights they reached from 2011-2018 when they made the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons. The best season for Taylor in recent memory came in 2016 when they won their district and reached the second round of playoffs after defeating Burnet in bi-district round.
“While Taylor is currently going through a rough spell, there is still a tradition and expectation of competing for championships,” Houston said, citing the outstanding facilities and tremendous community support.
After his track record of success in Buffalo, Houston’s Ducks will be a team to keep an eye on in Central Texas as they look to grow and turn the page after two barren seasons.
[We’re going to] develop a “you vs. yesterday” mentality where we are striving to do all the little things better than we’ve done them in the past,” Houston said. “With a focus on daily improvement, we feel that the results will start to become evident.”