Highlander Football coaching staff


Mark Schmid is in his 14th year as head coach of The Woodlands High School. This is his 31st year of coaching with the last 28 being at McCullough and The Woodlands. Before being promoted to head coach, he spent the pervious 9 years as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. Coach Schmid spent 1 year as a graduate assistant at TCU before joining the Highlander staff.

Coach Schmid has a long-standing relationship with the Highlander football program. He graduated from McCullough High School in 1980, where he was a 3-year letterman and an all-district linebacker. He continued his playing career as a safety at Texas Lutheran College.

Mark is a 1986 graduate of the University of North Texas. He's been married to his lovely wife Sheryl (formerly Davidson) for 35 years and has two beautiful children, Zoe (24) and Eric (18) and one granddaughter.

As the Highlander head coach, Schmid directed the Highlanders to the playoffs in each of his 14 years including a trip to the state championship game in 2016. His various honors include Houston Texans Coach of the Week (2005, 2008, 2009), District 14-5A Coach of the Year (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014), Montgomery County Coach of the Year (2004, 2005, 2008, 2009), Houston Touchdown Club Coach of the Year Finalist (2009 and 2011), and Houston Touchdown Club Coach of the Year (2016).

Coach Schmid believes that Highlander football teaches lessons that cannot be learned in the regular classroom. Commitment, accountability, dedication, respect, perseverance, and hard work are a few of the many benefits that come from being part of the Highlander Nation.


The 2017 season marks Jim Rapp's 27th season with the Highlanders. He has coached the offensive line for the last 22 years and this is his 14th season as offensive coordinator. Rapp has seen over 30 linemen enter the college ranks with Jonathan Huckins (Colorado), Cole Kennedy (Central Arkansas), and Tyler Rapp (Northwestern St) currently playing.

Rapp was a three-year letterman at McCullough High School. He was an all-conference performer at Henderson County Junior College. He received his degree from Sam Houston State University in 1990.

Coach Rapp has been happily married to his wife, Danielle, for 25 years. They have one son, Tyler (22), who plays football at Northwestern St.


Coach Kennedy has been coaching for 26 years and has been in The Woodlands since 1998, where he is currently the defensive coordinator and coaches outside linebackers. Prior to being the defensive coordinator, Pat was the special teams coordinator. He has coached defensive ends, tight ends, and offensive tackles. Coach Kennedy graduated from Sam Houston State University.

Pat has been married 26 years to his lovely wife Christine. They have three children: Ashley (23), Cole (20) and Emiley (15).


Chris is a veteran of 26 seasons as a football coach, including 10 years as a freshman and jr. high coach. He works with the Highlander receivers and all return specialists on special teams.

Prior to joining the varsity staff in 1998, Sowda spent the first 7 years at Knox Jr. High and McCullough 9th Grade Campus as coordinator. Sowda played defensive back for the Highlanders from 1976-1980. He and head coach Mark Schmid teamed up to start the Highlander tradition. During his McCullough years, he was a three-year starter in baseball and a two-year starter in football. Chris earned a degree from Sam Houston State in 1990.

Chris and his wife Kelly have two daughters: Ali (28) and Cheyenne (16).


Coach Dueitt is in his 28th year of coaching. He spent his first four years in Perryton coaching quarterbacks and running backs. He then spent six years in Lockhart coaching quarterbacks and one year as the offensive coordinator. This will be Coach Dueitt's 14th year at The Woodlands High School. He is a 1983 graduate of McCullough High School, and extended his football career at Texas A&I. He also spent one year at Texas A&I as a graduate assistant coach.

Coach Dueitt has been married for 25 years to his lovely wife Krista, and they have three children: Jeremy (24), Bailey (17), and Brittany (17).


Emory Bartolazzi enters his 16th year as a coach in the Highlander secondary and his 18th year as a member of The Woodlands coaching family. 2017 will be Emory's 11th season as the safeties coach; prior to that he spent four season as the coach of the corners. A graduate of Cy-Fair High School and Texas A&M University, Emory teaches Physics.

Emory's wife, Dustie, also teaches at The Woodlands High School. Dustie and Emory have two sons: Caycen, 10, and Turner, 7.


Coach Anderson is in his 20th year with the Highlander Program. Brian is in his 14th year at The Woodlands High School after spending two years at McCullough coaching Freshmen and four years at Knox Junior High. He was the coordinator at Knox for two years.

Brian attended Texas Tech University, where he was an Exercise Sports and Science major with a minor in history. He finished with a bachelor of Science degree in 1996.

Coach Anderson, along with Coach Taliaferro, is one of the jv red team coaches. Coach Anderson is also in charge of fliming games and practices, along with assisting Coach Madore with equipment.

Coach Anderson has been married to his wife Gaylynn for 21 years and they have two children, Ashton (18) and Baylee (15).


Coach Mike Taliaferro is in his 18th year in the Highlander football program. He has worked at different levels of the program, including head coach of the Junior High, and is now in his 14th year as a part of the varsity staff.

Mike attended Angelo State University, where he was a Kinesiology major with a minor in History. He finished with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1999.

Responsilbilities for Coach Taliaferro include special teams coordinator, the cornerback position, and sophomore team assignments.

Coach Taliaferro has been married for 12 years to his wife Sarah. They have an 9-year-old daughter, Kate, a 7-year-old son Collin, and a 5-year-old daughter Lacy Margaret.


Known by his nickname "Coach Bear", Coach Murchison begins his 21st season as a member of the Highlander football program and his 12th year as a varsity assistant. Coach Murchison coaches the defensive line. He also oversees the strength and conditioning program for the Highlanders.

Coach Murchison played football at Fredericksburg HS in, home of the Battlin' Billies, in central Texas. He attended Texas A&M University where he was a student athletic trainer and was fortunate to participate in three Cotton Bowls in the old SWC.

Coach Bear is married to his lovely wife Stacey, a McCullough graduate and former Highstepper. Coach Bear and Stacey are proud parents of their 11-year-old son William and 8-year-old daughter Abby.


Coach Madore is beginning his 26th year of coaching. This will be his 17th year in the Highlander program. Coach Madore coached for 9 years in Woodward, Oklahoma prior to coming to The Woodlands in 2000. During his time at Woodward, he was part of the 1994 5A Football State Championship Team. Coach Madore has coached at all levels including Knox Junior High and was the freshman campus coordinator for three years.

Gary grew up in Tupper Lake, NY. He completed his bachelor's degree at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in 1991. He received his Master's degree in school administration from Sam Houston State in 2003.

Coach Madore is the equipment manager for the Highlanders and also coaches the shot and discus for the boys Highlander track team.

Gary has been married to his wife Treva for 26 years. They have two sons: Garrett (22) and Hunter (18).


Coach Smith enters his 21st year as a football coach for The Woodlands High School and 7th year on the varsity staff as the outside receivers coach.

Coach Smith attended Texas A&M University, where he was a Kinesiology major with a minor in math. He graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree.

In addition to his varsity and freshman coaching responsibilities, Coach Smith continues his role as the team's video coordinator - a position he has held for 19 years. He is also the head powerlifting coach for the Highlanders.

Coach Smith has been married to his wife, Kim, for 19 years and they are the proud parents of two children: Nikki (14) and Luke (9).


Coach Colschen is in his 12th year at The Woodlands High School. He spent six years at TWHS 9th grade Campus coaching the Freshman teams.

David attended The University of Texas, where he was a Kinesiology major with a minor in Education. He finished with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2006.

Coach Colschen has been married for 11 years to his wife Candace who teaches first grade at Deretchin Elementary. Coach Colschen and Candace are proud parents of their three children Austin (9), Hunter (7), and Ameilia (5).


Coach Shane Graves has been with The Highlander football program for 22 years and is the athletic coordinator and head football coach at The Woodlands 9th campus. In addition to coaching football he also is a varsity assistant in the Highlander baseball program and a proud part of three state championships with that program.

He is a 1995 graduate of Texas A&M University. He and his wife Dina have a daughter Peyton (16), and twins, son Bryce (12) and daughter Rylie (12).


Coach Crane returns to the Highlander staff after spending 2 years away in New Jersey. He has 26 years of coaching experience, and this will mark his 14th year in the Highlander program.

Coach Crane graduated from the University of Houston, and received his master's degree from Sam Houston State. Coach Crane and Debbie, his wife of 34 years, have three girls, Alison, Valerie and Caitlin.

Coach Crane will be coaching freshmen offensive and defensive line.


Coach Hays is entering his 11th year of coaching, all spent in The Woodlands program. He coached at McCullough Junior High for six years. This will be his 5th year at the 9th grade campus.

John attended Texas A&M University and graduated in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in Education.

Coach Hays married his wife, Heather in March of 2013 and they have one daughter.


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