New Coach Sets Sights on Playoff Success for Longhorns

Ross led WTW to its highest scoring offensive season in first year at school

After leading W.T. White to the most prolific offensive season in program history, Kenchee Ross was due for a promotion.

Ross began his tenure as head football coach and athletic coordinator for the Longhorns this spring, eager to continue the momentum of a program on the rise.

Ross takes over for Tony Johnson, who left WTW after four years for Copperas Cove after last season. Johnson amassed a 17-25 overall record but led the Longhorns to back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time in 40 years.

Meanwhile, in his first season as WTW’s offensive coordinator, Ross spearheaded an offense that set a school record with 385 points. His first head coaching opportunity resulted from years of hard work, success, and disappointment.

Ross was the top assistant coach for a decade at perennial powerhouse Lancaster, where he was an integral part of several deep postseason runs, including the Class 5A Division II runner-up in 2012.

He felt those experiences prepared him for a chance to lead his own program, although Ross was turned down for multiple openings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area before the 2021 season. That made him especially grateful when the WTW chance came along.

“Someone finally said yes,” Ross said. “It’s the hardest thing ever to land a head job in Texas because so many people have been chasing it. I really felt like I was ready. When they tell you no, it kind of puts a chip on your shoulder.”

Since beginning his new role, Ross’ schedule has been a whirlwind. After four assistant coaches left with Johnson and another retired, he had to overhaul the WTW staff.

Then he organized spring practice on short notice and had to transition his returning players into their offseason routine, all while trying to put his stamp on the program.

Ross, who specializes in coaching quarterbacks, also has been an assistant at Greenville, South Oak Cliff, and Terrell, among other stops. He has coached four players who are currently in the NFL.

He hopes that pedigree and hard-nosed mentality will carry over at WTW, which has reached the first round of the 5A Division I playoffs in each of the past two years.

“My goal is to get us to the point where we’re winning playoff games,” Ross said. “It’s a process. I’ve got a great rapport with the kids. It’s made for a very easy transition.”

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