After former Texas Director of High School Relations, Chris Gilbert, left for an on-field role with North Texas, the Longhorns were left with a vital role in the recruiting department.
Now, it appears they have filled that void, and with someone familiar with the area coming in to take the position. Jahmal Fenner, the head coach at Austin LBJ (Lyndon Baines Johnson Early College High School) for the past five seasons, will fill the role going forward.
In 2021, Fenner led Austin LBJ to the 4A-I state championship game and in 2022 led the Jaguars to a 9-3 record, including a 7-0 record in district play. Now, he will be tasked with expanding his knowledge of the high schools in the state of Texas, which is always chock-full of some of the nation’s best talent.
“We’re really excited that Jahmal is joining our staff,” Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “He’s a guy who brings a lot to the table, is well known and respected throughout the Texas High School Coaches Association, has deep roots in Austin, and is so well connected in our community, as well as across the state. What he did in taking LBJ Football to historic heights through the most challenging of times was impressive, but seeing and hearing about the impact he had on his players and how he did it as a mentor, teacher and coach was something that really stood out. He’s a relationship guy, which is really important to us. And he’s done great things as a player, himself, and has taken that passion to coaching. I know he’ll be a great asset for us, everyone in the THSCA, and high schools everywhere as our Director of High School Relations. Jahmal’s definitely a guy we wanted to get on board, and he’s going to be such an awesome addition to our staff. We’re extremely grateful to have him with us.”
An Austin native, Fenner has 14 years of coaching experience including the last five years at Austin LBJ. In 2021, Fenner led Austin LBJ to the 4A-I state championship game and in 2022 led the Jaguars to a 9-3 record, including a 7-0 record in district play. Now, he will be tasked with expanding his knowledge of the high schools in the state of Texas, which is always chock-full of some of the nation’s best talent.
“Growing up here, always seeing the Longhorns, and understanding how prestigious of a university and football program Texas is, it was truly a special honor and privilege when Coach Sarkisian offered me this opportunity. It was something I just couldn’t pass up,” Fenner said. “I’ve been on the high school side for a while where I was able to encourage, facilitate and help a lot of kids reach their goals and dreams of getting to the collegiate level. I’m so grateful for that time and all I was able to do in leading a high school program. That prepared me for a position like this. Now, I’m looking forward to having the chance to do it from the other side, learning and helping with the process on the next level. And I get to do it with a great staff of coaches, while working with all the outstanding high school coaches in Texas and across the country as a resource in helping them and their kids.”