January 27, 2023

AUSTIN — After five starry seasons as LBJ’s head coach, Jahmal Fenner has been hired as the next director of high school relations for Texas, the team announced Monday night. Fennec will replace Chris Gilbert, who became North Texas’ assistant head coach and tight ends coach at the end of the 2022 season.

Fenner was named LBJ’s head coach in 2018 and led the Jaguars to a 49-13 record, three straight district titles and first-place finish in a school state championship game in 2021.

“I’ve been on the high school side for a while where I’ve been able to encourage, support and help a lot of kids achieve their goals and dreams of getting to the college level,” Fenner said in a statement. “I’m so grateful for this time and all I’ve been able to do by running a high school program. That prepared me for a position like this. Now I look forward to having the chance to do it from the other side, to learn and to help with the next level process.”

Fenner, a former three-sport standout with Reagan, played cornerback and return punts at UTEP (2001-04) and first ventured into coaching with the Amarillo Dusters of the Arena Football League in 2007. Fenner worked as an assistant at UTEP and spent a year coaching in the Indoor Football League before joining then-LBJ coach Andrew Jackson in 2013.

Fenner served as LBJ’s interim head coach for most of the 2017 season while Jackson was battling cancer. After Jackson’s death on December 13, 2017, he was named the Jaguars’ next head coach.

“He shaped me,” Fenner said of Jackson in 2018, per CBS Austin. “So we spent a lot of time together and he developed that respect for me, just the knowledge for the game and the ability to understand the concepts and really just being a solid human being.”

Fenner is stepping down from LBJ after the most successful five years in school history. The pinnacle came in 2021, when he earned IHSFAN Coach of the Year and Austin American-Statesman Central awards after a 15-1 campaign that culminated in LBJ becoming the first Austin Independent School District (AISD) team in 47 years Texas Coach of the Year to advance to a state title game.

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