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 major role in the recruiting department.
Now it seems they have filled that gap and someone familiar with the area is coming in to take the position. Jahmal Fenner, who has been the head coach of Austin LBJ (Lyndon Baines Johnson Early College High School) for the past five seasons, will take on 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’s tasked with expanding his knowledge of Texas’ high schools, which are always teeming with some of the nation’s brightest talent.
“We are delighted to have Jahmal join our team,” said Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian. “He’s a guy who brings a lot to the table, who is 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 to take LBJ Football to historic heights during the most trying times was impressive, but seeing and hearing 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 is a relationship type, which is very important to us. And he did great things himself as a player and brought that passion to the coach. I know he will be a great asset to all of us at THSCA and high schools everywhere as our Director of High School Relations. Jahmal is definitely a guy we wanted to bring on board and he will be a great addition to our staff. We are very grateful to have him with us.”
A native of Austin, 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’s tasked with expanding his knowledge of Texas’ high schools, which are always teeming with some of the nation’s brightest talent.
“Growing up here, always watching the Longhorns and understanding how prestigious a university and football program is in Texas, it was truly an honor and privilege when Coach Sarkisian offered me this opportunity. I just couldn’t let that pass,” said Fenner. “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. I’m so thankful 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. And I get to do it with an amazing team of coaches as I work with all of the great high school coaches in Texas and across the country to help them and their kids.”