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And coach makes four: a look inside a football family

2013 October 17
by HISD Communications

In this week’s I am HISD, which features district students, graduates, employees, and other team members, Clifton Middle School football coach Shane Johnson Sr. talks about why he walked away from a career in professional football, how his three sons came to be a family, and the Nov. 2 homecoming game between Waltrip and Reagan high schools, where the boys play on opposing teams.

It must be very rewarding to have three such good football players in your family. What’s that been like for you?

The Johnson family: Trelon, Shane Sr., Shane Jr., and Kodie (from L)

I am so proud of all my boys. My oldest son, Trelon Johnson, is starting quarterback for Waltrip HS, and he’s doing really well so far. My younger son, Shane Johnson, a sophomore at Reagan HS, plays varsity and rotates in and out with the senior quarterback. My third son, Kodie Y’Barbo, who is my stepson, plays senior linebacker for Waltrip. You should see my house on the weekends – it’s a football frenzy.

How did your sons end up attending different schools?

Well, Shane, who is only a sophomore, decided he wanted to play football for Reagan High School so he could go up against his brothers, quarterback Trelon and middle linebacker Kodie. “I want to beat them,” Shane said. He convinced a bunch of boys from Clifton to go to Reagan with him. The showdown takes place on Nov. 2, when Reagan hosts Waltrip in their homecoming game at Delmar–Tusa Stadium.

I understand you met your wife because of the kids. How did that come about?

When Trelon and Kodie were in third grade, we lived in the same apartment complex, and they would be out in the middle of the complex playing football all the time. My sons Trelon and Shane kept coming in and asking, “Can Ms. Robin watch us at the swimming pool?” After hearing this for a while, I went out to meet her, and that was it for me. We are married, and now we have a daughter together. Brandi is five and attends Stevens ES.

You were a star linebacker at Eisenhower HS in Aldine in the early 1990s, and you played football in college, too, didn’t you?

Yeah, we were pretty good. We almost got to state a couple times. I got a full scholarship to Texas A&M–Kingsville. There were some great coaches there who had a strong influence on me. I went on to play football for one year for the Houston Thunderbears, which was part of the Arena Football League.

Why did you walk away from a career in pro football?

Shane was about two years old then, and I wanted to finish my degree, so I transferred to Houston Baptist University and finished up there.

You’ve been teaching and coaching at Clifton for about four years now. How did you get into that?

I was a supervisor at Direct TV for six years, which was a great job, but then I met Robin. I had been coaching little league football for years, so she said, “You love football so much, why don’t you get a job as a coach?” I thought that was a great idea, so here I am.

I subbed for two years prior to getting on full-time. I was subbing in a seventh-grade science class, and I had the students in groups working on a project when two ladies came in to observe me. I had no idea who they were, but it turns out they were the principal and one of her assistant principals. They were so amazed to see a sub who was actually teaching that they offered me a long-term sub job.

Up until this year, I’ve been teaching science and coaching after school, but now I’m a full-time coach.

You coached at Waltrip HS last year as well, correct? Do you think you’ll keep coaching in middle school?

Yes, I wanted to experience coaching high school, so I coached secondary defense at Waltrip. I think I’ll coach high school eventually, but right now I want to focus on Clifton. I want to stay in middle school for a while, because middle school is the midway point, and I think it’s really important to get these boys in shape for high school.

Are you thinking about getting them into college as well?

Yes, definitely. I have all kinds of college stuff posted on the wall. “You talk about college all the time,” my boys say. I want all my students to go to college. I tell them that the best gift they can give me is to come back and visit me when they are in college or after they graduate.

If you know a graduate, student, employee, or other member of Team HISD who should be featured here, please email us at info@houstonisd.org.
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