SAN ANTONIO — Perennial football power Judson is in the market for a new head football coach.
Sean McAuliffe, who headed the Rockets’ program the past five seasons, has resigned to become head football coach and athletic coordinator at Houston Cypress Ranch. McAuliffe, 44, held the same dual position at Judson.
McAuliffe was defensive coordinator at Judson for two seasons before being promoted to head coach in 2014 when Mark Smith resigned to take the head-coaching job at Madison. The Rockets went 54-13 and reached the state semifinals twice under McAuliffe, a 1993 Judson graduate who played on the Rockets’ 1992 state-championship team.
Judson lost to Cy Ranch 38-31 in the state semifinals in 2014, his first season as a head coach. McAuliffe was an assistant coach for four seasons (2004-07) at Jersey Village High School before getting hired by Smith at Kerrville Tivy in 2008. Jersey Village is in the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD with Cy Ranch.
“I’m a dad and I’m a husband, and I’ve got a great wife and great kids,” said McAuliffe, the father of three boys ages 13, 8 and 4. “At some point in the coaching world you’ve got to make decisions that best fit your family. That’s what it is. It’s a good move for us and a great opportunity. You’ve got to do what’s right by your family.
“It’s a great community. It’s a great school district. It’s a great place to raise kids. It’s very similar to here. The expectations are extremely high. Those are the types of things you look for. I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to look into it, and it’s a good fit for the family and we’re excited about it.”
McAuliffe, who told his Judson players about his resignation Thursday morning, will start work at Cy Ranch on Monday. McAuliffe succeeds Gene Johnson, who had been the Mustangs’ head coach since the school opened in 2008. Johnson resigned to become head coach at Waller. Cy-Ranch finished 11-1 last year, losing in the second round of the playoffs.
“I’m still living the dream as a coach,” McAuliffe said. “Judson always will be a special place for me. I get to work with a great group of guys and gals every day. They’re in it for the right reasons. They’re here to make a difference in kids’ lives. It’s just one of those deals that an opportunity came open, I took a look at it and I liked what I saw.”
Ray Zepeda, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD athletic director, said that McAuliffe’s familiarity with the school district made him a strong candidate for the Cy Ranch job.
“To a certain degree, that’s part of what made it attractive to hire Sean,” Zepeda said. “He understood the culture of our school district from working here for four different school years. A lot of people knew him, and he knew a lot of people who were here. I think that really helped in the hiring process.”
McAuliffe’s last team at Judson finished 11-1 after losing to Austin Lake Travis 38-21 in the Class 6A Division I state quarterfinals.
“We’re excited to have him,” Zepeda said. “Obviously, he’s coached ball at a very high level in Texas. When you’ve lost 13 games over five seasons and a lot of those have been to some of the best teams in Texas, we know that the football is going to be good.
“More important than that, we’ve heard nothing but good things about his support of other coaches and programs. That’s the type of leader that we’re looking for because we don’t just want to be good in football, we want to be good in all sports.”