High School Sports: Grand Oaks HS Welcomes New Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Shaun McDowell

By: Grand Oaks Publications Advisor Blair Davis
| Published 01/05/2023


THE WOODLANDS, TX -- Grand Oaks High School welcomed new lead football coach and Athletic Director Shaun McDowell on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. McDowell will take over in the second school semester to replace previous coach Dr. Michael Jackson.

Born in New Jersey, McDowell moved to Houston when he was 4, went to high school at Steven F. Austin High School, was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and took college courses at University of Houston. He then started coaching at Bush High School in 2003 where he also taught Business and Geometry classes.

“In 2007, I was blessed with the opportunity to go to Cypress Creek High School and I was the offensive coordinator and assistant track coach,” McDowell said. “In 2012, I got the Willowridge high school football job… I was there for a season, then went to Foster High school.” McDowell was at Foster high school for 10 years and has been coaching and teaching for 20 years.

McDowell has had the honor of coaching many great, successful athletes including Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver CeeDee Lamb, Offensive Tackle Russell Okung, Denver Broncos Offensive Tackle Cameron Fleming, A&M Right Tackle Reuben Fatheree, and University of Houston Defensive Tackle Chidozie Nwankwo.

“We were really successful at Foster,” McDowell said. “We went all the way to state semis; 14-1 was our best season there in 2016.”

McDowell also holds various positions in the football community in Houston. “I’m in it to win it.” McDowell said. “I figure, just like we ask our players to be leaders in their school, I want to be a leader of our coaching community as well.”

As soon as McDowell heard about the open position at Grand Oaks High School, he decided to apply.

“I just felt a pull to this school when I saw it come open,” McDowell said. “I don’t have any affiliation with it whatsoever, I don’t know anybody up here… but I’m super excited about it. Once we decided to do it, we were all in. We saw it as a great chance to really make a mark.”

McDowell’s hiring process happened all between Thanksgiving and Winter Break. He was able to tour the school 2 days prior to the winter break and got to greet his new colleagues at the Jan. 3 in-service day before students arrived.

McDowell is a true sports fan and educator.
“I love watching kids compete. I love watching coaches coach,” he says. “There's nothing better than a kid who is a sophomore or junior in college coming back here and wanting to work out or hang out. That means you know you really did something.”

He is a firm believer in the result that sports can have on a young person’s life.
“That's the reason I'm still coaching,” McDowell says. “I love football, but I love what football and all athletics provide for young men and women today.”

McDowell and the staff of Grand Oaks look forward to the success that will come from the football and athletics programs in the future.
“I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I can’t wait to see how many state championships we win,” he said. “I think this is that type of place, honestly, if we do it right.”

Students and staff at Grand Oaks High School are looking forward to seeing the growth and camaraderie that Coach McDowell will bring to the athletic programs at the school in the future.

“Loving the process of what it takes to be a dominant athletic program and football program. It takes what it takes. There are no shortcuts,” McDowell said. “I’m here for you and I’m here because of you. Let’s GO!”

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