Highlander Football coaching staff

JIM RAPP - HEAD COACH

The 2020 season marks Jim Rapp's 29th season with the Highlanders and 3rd as the head coach. He coached the offensive line for 22 years and spent 14 seasons as offensive coordinator. In his first two years as head coach, the Highlanders have continued their playoff streak by now reaching the postseason for the 25th 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 27 years. They have one son, Tyler.

EMORY BARTOLAZZI - DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR / SAFETIES

Emory Bartolazzi enters his 22nd year of coaching high school athletics, 21st year as a member of The Woodlands High School coaching family, and 19th year in the Highlander secondary. 2020 will be Emory's third season as defensive coordinator and his 16th season coaching Highlander safeties. Prior to coaching safeties, 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 13, and Turner 10.

CRAIG SMITH - OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR / QUARTERBACKS

Coach Smith enters his 24th year as a football coach for The Woodlands High School, and 10th year on the varsity staff. This will be Coach Smith's 3rd year as offensive coordinator. He spent 8 years coaching the outside receivers before moving to quarterbacks.

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 22 years and they are the proud parents of two children: Nikki (17) and Luke (12).

DAVID COLSCHEN - OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR / RUNNING BACKS

Coach Colschen is in his 14th 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 13 years to his wife Candace who teaches first grade at Deretchin Elementary. Coach Colschen and Candace are proud parents of their three children Austin (11), Hunter (9), and Ameilia (7).

MIKE FREDRICKSON - FIRST ASSISTANT / INSIDE LINEBACKERS

Coming Soon

BRIAN ANDERSON - OFFENSIVE LINE

Coach Anderson is in his 23rd year with the Highlander Program. Brian is in his 17th 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 24 years and they have two children, Ashton (21) and Baylee (18).

MIKE TALIAFERRO - OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS / SPECIAL TEAMS

Coach Mike Taliaferro enters his 21st 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 17th 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 16 years to his wife Sarah. They have an 12-year-old daughter, Kate, a 10-year-old son Collin, and an 8-year-old daughter Lacy Margaret.

BRANDEN NASH - DEFENSIVE LINE

Coach Nash is entering his 14th year in coaching and his 11th year in the Highlander football program.  Coach Nash joins the varsity staff this year as the defensive line coach after spending the previous ten years in the program at McCullough Junior High and the 9th Grade Campus..

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 12 years and has two sons, Ian (15) and Anthony (12).

CHRIS SOWDA - INSIDE RECEIVERS

Chris is a veteran of 29 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 - CORNERBACKS

Ryan Clapsaddle is entering his 5th year as a high school coach (all with the Highlanders) and his 3rd year as the varsity corners coach. The two previous years he worked primarily with freshman and assisted varsity outside linebackers.

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 - OFFENSIVE LINE

Matt Barrickman enters his 15th year of coaching high school athletics.  This will be his 3rd 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 6 years to his wife Melanie, and they have a daughter Mackenzie that will be 2 in September.

TERRANCE WRIGHT - OUTSIDE RECEIVERS

Coach Wright enters his eighth year in education and seventh year coaching in Texas high school athletics, and 2nd year as a member of The Woodlands High School coaching staff.  Wright has been coaching wide receivers for the past four seasons, and three of the four seasons prior to that coaching on the defensive side of the ball.  

Wright was a three-year letterman at Westside High School, where he was the starting running back during the 2005 football season.  Wright attended Tennessee State University where he received a degree in Communications and Theatre.  Wright also attended Ohio University where he successfully received his Master of Science in Coaching Education.  

Wright and his wife, Ashley, have one daughter, Sariah(8).

SHANE GRAVES - HEAD FRESHMAN COACH

Coach Shane Graves has been with The Highlander football program for 25 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 (19), and twins, son Bryce (15) and daughter Rylie (15).

JIMMY CRANE - FRESHMEN

Coach Crane returns for his 30th season of coaching, and his 17th 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 38 years and have three daughters, Alison, Valerie, and Caitlin.

JOHN HAYS - FRESHMEN

Coach Hays is entering his 13th 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 4.

AARON MIEARS - FRESHMEN

Aaron Miears is entering his 13th year of coaching and teaching.  This will be Coach Miears' first year at The Woodlands.  His previous coaching stops include Crosby Middle School, Crosby High School, and Magnolia High School.  He will also coach track in the spring.

Coach Miears graduated from Texas A&M University in 2008 with a degree in Kinesiology.  His wife of 6 years, Hailey, is a TWHS gradute.  They have two children, Claire (4) and Luke (1).  They will welcome another baby girl in 2021.

KEITH HARVEY - FRESHMEN

Coach Harvey enters his fourteenth year in education for Conroe ISD and four years coaching in Conroe District athletic programs.  Coach Harvey joins TWHS Football 9th grade campus this year as the running back and outside linebackers’ coach after spending the previous two years at McCullough Junior High coaching football and track.  

In addition to coaching football, Coach Harvey will coach girls’ basketball at TWHS 9th campus. 

Keith attended Lamar University and graduated in 2001 and 2005 with a bachelor's degree in political science and Dietetics. 

Coach Harvey and his wife, Antonette, have been married for 22 years and have three children, Britttani (21); T. J. (19); and Chelsea (15).