Following a string of three playoff trips in a row, including the school’s first appearance in the regional semifinal, the Brazos Cougars are now in search of a new head football coach.
It was announced May 21 that the Caney Creek Panthers, a Conroe ISD member, hired Ned Barrier as their next head coach after Steve Svendsen took a job in his native South Dakota.
Barrier was likely highly sought after following the turn-around job he performed in Wallis by breaking a years-long postseason drought and he could be looked upon to continue that sort of tradition.
Since Caney Creek’s first varsity season in 1998, the Panthers have been to the playoffs four times, with the most recent trip coming in 2006.
Before taking the head job at Brazos, Barrier was an offensive coordinator at a handful of schools bigger than the 2A stage he is now leaving, an aspect that did not shy away from in taking this new job.
Brazos is fresh off a 7-5 season with a 2-2 district mark that earned the three seed in District 15. The Cougars beat Three Rivers, 45-21, in bi-district and topped Holland, 38-35, thanks to a 20-point fourth quarter in the Area Championship.
That set up their first taste of the third round and a meeting with the Mason Punchers, District 14 champions, who remained unbeaten with a 35-6 win in the area round. Brazos registered 14 points, the Punchers’ second-highest point allowance on the year but allowed 52 points to a Mason team that went all the way to Arlington and hoisted the 2A trophy with a 44-6 win over New Deal.
Coach Barrier compiled a 16-17 record in three years with the Cougars, earning both of his postseason victories this year to claim Brazos’ first Area Championship.