Highlander Football coaching staff


The 2017 season marks Jim Rapp's 28th season with the Highlanders and 2nd as the head coach. He coached the offensive line for 22 years and spent 14 seasons as offensive coordinator. In his first year as head coach, the Highlanders continued their playoff streak by reaching the postseason for the 24th consecutive year.

Rapp was a three-year letterman at McCullough High School. He was an all-conference performer at Henderson County Junior College. He received his degree from Sam Houston State University in 1990.

Coach Rapp has been happily married to his wife, Danielle, for 26 years. They have one son, Tyler (22), who plays football at Northwestern St.


Emory Bartolazzi enters his 21st year of coaching high school athletics, 20th year as a member of The Woodlands High School coaching family, and 18th year in the Highlander secondary. 2018 will be Emory's second season as defensive coordinator and his 13th season coaching Highlander safeties. Prior to that he spent time coaching corners and freshman football. After graduating from Cy-Fair High School Emory attended Texas A&M University where he earned degrees in Physics and Kinesiology. Emory has taught all grades and various levels of high school science and currently teaches Astronomy.

Emory's wife, Dustie, also teaches at The Woodlands High School. Dustie and Emory have two sons: Caycen 12, and Turner 9.


Coach Smith enters his 23rd year as a football coach for The Woodlands High School, and 9th year on the varsity staff. This will be Coach Smith's first year coaching quarterbacks after spending the last 8 season coaching outside receivers.

Coach Smith attended Texas A&M University, where he was a Kinesiology major with a minor in math. He graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree.

In addition to his football coaching responsibilities, Coach Smith continues his role as the team's video coordinator - a position he has held for over 20 years. He is also the head powerlifting coach for the Highlanders.

Coach Smith has been married to his wife, Kim, for 21 years and they are the proud parents of two children: Nikki (16) and Luke (11).


Coach Colschen is in his 13th year at The Woodlands High School. He spent six years at TWHS 9th grade Campus coaching the Freshman teams.

David attended The University of Texas, where he was a Kinesiology major with a minor in Education. He finished with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2006.

Coach Colschen has been married for 12 years to his wife Candace who teaches first grade at Deretchin Elementary. Coach Colschen and Candace are proud parents of their three children Austin (10), Hunter (8), and Ameilia (6).


Coach Madore is beginning his 27th year of coaching. This will be his 18th year in the Highlander program. Coach Madore coached for 9 years in Woodward, Oklahoma prior to coming to The Woodlands in 2000. During his time at Woodward, he was part of the 1994 5A Football State Championship Team. Coach Madore has coached at all levels including Knox Junior High and was the freshman campus coordinator for three years.

Gary grew up in Tupper Lake, NY. He completed his bachelor's degree at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in 1991. He received his Master's degree in school administration from Sam Houston State in 2003.

Coach Madore isalso the shot put and discus coach for the Highlander Track & Field Team.

Gary has been married to his wife Treva for 27 years. They have two sons: Garrett (23) and Hunter (19).


Coach Anderson is in his 22nd year with the Highlander Program. Brian is in his 16th year at The Woodlands High School after spending two years at McCullough coaching Freshmen and four years at Knox Junior High. He was the coordinator at Knox for two years.

Brian attended Texas Tech University, where he was an Exercise Sports and Science major with a minor in history. He finished with a bachelor of Science degree in 1996.

Coach Anderson  is responsible for the offensive line, equipment manager, and jv green team.

Coach Anderson has been married to his wife Gaylynn for 23 years and they have two children, Ashton (20) and Baylee (17).


Coach Mike Taliaferro enters his 20th year in the Highlander football program. He has worked at various levels of the program, including head coach of the Junior High, and is now in his 16th year as a part of the varsity staff.

Mike attended Angelo State University, where he was a Kinesiology major with a minor in History. He finished with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1999.

Responsibilities for Coach Taliaferro include outside linebackers, special teams coordinator, and kickers coach. In addition to that Coach Taliaferro coaches hurdles and high jump for the boys tracks team.

Coach Taliaferro has been married for 15 years to his wife Sarah. They have an 11-year-old daughter, Kate, a 9-year-old son Collin, and a 7-year-old daughter Lacy Margaret.


Known by his nickname "Coach Bear", Coach Murchison begins his 25th season as a member of the Highlander football program and his 14th year as a varsity assistant. Coach Murchison coaches the defensive line. 

Coach Murchison played football at Fredericksburg HS in, home of the Battlin' Billies, in central Texas. He attended Texas A&M University where he was a student athletic trainer and was fortunate to participate in three Cotton Bowls in the old SWC.

Coach Bear is married to his lovely wife Stacey, a McCullough graduate and former Highstepper. Coach Bear and Stacey are proud parents of their 13-year-old son William and 10-year-old daughter Abby.


Chris is a veteran of 28 seasons as a football coach, including 10 years as a freshman and jr. high coach. He works with the Highlander receivers and all return specialists on special teams.

Prior to joining the varsity staff in 1998, Sowda spent the first 7 years at Knox Jr. High and McCullough 9th Grade Campus as coordinator. Sowda played defensive back for the Highlanders from 1976-1980. He and former head coach Mark Schmid teamed up to start the Highlander tradition. During his McCullough years, he was a three-year starter in baseball and a two-year starter in football. Chris earned a degree from Sam Houston State in 1990.

Chris and his wife Kelly have two daughters: Ali and Cheyenne.


Ryan Clapsaddle is entering his fourth year as a high school coach (all with the Highlanders) and his second year as the varsity corners coach. The two previous years he worked primarily with freshman and assisted varsity outside linebackers. Coach Clapsaddle also works with the Lady Highlander Basketball program.

Coach Clapsaddle played and graduated from The Woodlands High School and continued playing at Angelo State University where he received a Bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in Kinesiology and a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice. Currently, he teaches World Geography and World History.


Matt Barrickman enters his 14th year of coaching high school athletics.  This will be his second year at The Woodlands High School.  Prior to joining The Highlanders, he spent the previous two years at Cedar Ridge HS where they were back to back district champions and made an appearance in the state semi-finals.  Coach Barrickman has also made coaching stops at Porter HS and Whitehouse HS.

Matt attended Daingerfield High School where he was an honor graduate and an All District athlete in football and baseball.   He graduated from Texas A&M University in 2006, with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology, and will teach Biology at the freshman campus.

Coach Barrickman has been married for 5 years to his wife Melanie, and they have a daughter Mackenzie that will be 1 in September.


coming soon


Coach Shane Graves has been with The Highlander football program for 24 years and is the athletic coordinator and head football coach at The Woodlands 9th campus. In addition to coaching football he also is a varsity assistant in the Highlander baseball program and a proud part of three state championships with that program.

He is a 1995 graduate of Texas A&M University. He and his wife Dina have a daughter Peyton (18), and twins, son Bryce (14) and daughter Rylie (14).


Coach Crane returns for his 29th season of coaching, and his 16th season on the Highlander staff. Coach Crane graduated from The University of Houston and has a Master’s degree from Sam Houston State University. Upon graduation from college, Coach Crane spent seven years in the Pasadena ISD before coaching for three years at Clear Lake High School. From Clear Lake, Coach Crane accepted a position coaching receivers at Hofstra University, where numerous offensive records were set and he was fortunate to have coached Wayne Chrebet, a receiver who went on to play for the New York Jets.

Coach Crane and his wife, Debbie, have been married for 37 years and have three daughters, Alison, Valerie, and Caitlin.


Coach Hays is entering his 12th year of coaching, all spent in The Woodlands program. He coached at McCullough Junior High for six years. This will be his 7th year at the 9th grade campus.

John attended Texas A&M University and graduated in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in Education.

Coach Hays married his wife, Heather, in March of 2013 and they have one daughter, Harper, who is 3.


Coach Williams is entering into his 12th year of coaching. He coached at McCullough Junior high and also at Marble Falls HS before returning to coach at The Woodlands High School.

Matt played football at Graham HS then later attended Texas A&M University where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology in 2008. He currently teaches World Geography. 

Coach Williams recently married his wife Abbey this past summer and they just welcomed their child.


Coach Nash is entering his 13th year in coaching and his 10th year in the Highlander football program.  This is his first year coaching freshmen and has spent the previous eight years in the program at McCullough Junior High.

He graduated from Anahuac High School and received a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Sam Houston State University.  

Coach Nash has been married to his wife, Chantelle, for 11 years and has two sons, Ian (12) and Anthony (9).

He will coach the offensive and defensive line for the freshmen.