Jordan High School, Warriors, Texas high school football, Mike Rabe, Katy ISD

Rabe excited for ‘special opportunity’ at Jordan

By DENNIS SILVA II, Times Sports Editor
Posted 1/20/20

Mike Rabe is adept at turning around high school football programs.

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Jordan High School, Warriors, Texas high school football, Mike Rabe, Katy ISD

Rabe excited for ‘special opportunity’ at Jordan

Posted

Mike Rabe is adept at turning around high school football programs.

The Cuero native’s first head coaching season came in 2006 at Ganado, which had one win that year before finishing with nine apiece in 2008 and 2009 before Rabe moved on to Waco Connally.

At Connally, Rabe’s team went 0-10 his first year there in 2010, then won 16 games combined in 2013 and 2014 before he landed in Katy at Mayde Creek.

In 2015, the Rams were winless in Rabe’s first season and won just one game the next season. But they finished 2019 with a nine-win campaign, enjoying the program’s finest season in 22 years.

But when the job at Jordan High arose, Rabe couldn’t resist.

Sporting a splendid gold and black tie—the school colors of Jordan, Katy ISD’s ninth high school that opens in August—and wearing a smile just as distinguishable, Rabe was formally introduced on Monday, Jan. 20, as the first head football coach and athletic coordinator for the Warriors.

“I’ve been lucky enough to go into several different programs as a head coach and be able to rebuild those and re-stamp them as you go through,” said Rabe, whose first day at Jordan was Jan. 14. “This is an opportunity to not have to do anything over. You get to go in and do everything from day one. It’s real exciting.”

Jordan High School submitted an initial enrollment number of 1,586.69 in late October. Football for Jordan High won’t be realigned by the UIL until 2022, which will be the program’s first varsity football season.

“It’s a special opportunity to be able to open up a high school,” Rabe said. “You look across the state and there’s not many of those that happen. You see several each year, but it’s a small opportunity to be able to jump in and do that. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Rabe just finished his fifth season at the helm of Mayde Creek, where he had a 16-35 overall record. But the Rams went 9-3 in 2019 and made it to the area round of the playoffs, producing their best season since 1997, winning their first playoff game since that year and making the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

Rabe, who was named the District 19-6A Coach of the Year for the 2019 season, implemented a no-nonsense, family-oriented culture at Mayde Creek that helped spear a remarkable turnaround for the program. He is a creative offensive mind and has always sustained a close, positive and strong relationship with his players.

“We looked for a builder, someone who would be a good fit for the community and that staff and those students,” Katy ISD athletic director Debbie Decker said of the Jordan High job. “That, as well as knowledge of the game and success rate … it wasn’t so much that it was a familiar face, it’s that the cream always rises to the top in interviews. Mike rose to the top.

“Every place he’s been, he’s taken that program and elevated it.”

Jordan High is Rabe’s fourth stop. He has an overall record of 66-86-0.

“You want commitment, you want consistency, you want accountability,” Rabe said of his values. “Those are big things with your staff and players. We want to have a great attitude and effort when we go out there, and to be a program that can go out there and execute on a regular basis in high intense situations.”

The Mayde Creek job was publicly posted Monday, Jan. 13. Decker said she will begin interviews for the Rams’ job the week of Jan. 27. She intends to have a hire made sometime in February.

Since January 2017, Katy ISD has filled openings for head coach in seven of its nine football programs. Only twice has it gone outside the district in making its hire over that span.

“As an athletic director, you want to develop your coaches and you want to know what their goals are and you want to try and assist them to get to that next level,” Decker said. “With that said, we open every job up, and with every job we follow the same process. As we go through the interview process, the person that’s hired is the best fit for that school and the best person for the job.

“We’re proud to say that the last seven of nine since 2017 have been Katy ISD people, but we can’t just go into every job saying we’re only going to hire from within. We’re going to get the best fit and the best person for every single job, while hoping to help our coaches develop to where they are those men or women who can step into that role.”

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