Lamar Coach Tom Nolen is Houston Coach of the Year

Team’s playoff run continues Saturday with state semifinals matchup

Longtime Lamar High School football Coach Tom Nolen was named the Houston Touchdown Club’s coach of the year Wednesday night, making him the second HISD coach to earn the prestigious honor in the award’s 25-year history.

Undefeated Lamar plays Saturday in the Texas Class 5A Division I semifinals, with the winner earning a shot at the state title. Earlier this season, Nolen earned his 250th career victory. A pep rally for the team is scheduled for Friday morning.

Nolen received the coach of the year award during a banquet hosted by the Touchdown Club of Houston. The only other HISD coach to win the award was former Madison Coach Ray Seals in 1998.

“Tom Nolen is truly the example of the coach that you wish every kid could experience. Tommy has always put the student ahead of the scoreboard. He is competitive and wants to win – but not at the expense of his or his student’s integrity,” said Lamar Principal Dr. James McSwain. “He teaches that lesson to each player. The kids know he personally cares about them and what happens to them in their lives. When any person, especially a young person, knows that you have integrity and that you honestly care for them, they will work their hearts out and follow your leadership anywhere. That’s the relationship between Coach Nolen and his players.”

Nolen led Lamar to a dominant win over longtime Houston-area powerhouse North Shore High School in the regional championship game. Afterward, Coach Nolen told the Houston Chronicle: “I’ve been in it for 30-some years now. Great things are going on in HISD. Great things in the classroom, everywhere. This is just another celebration of it.”

What: Lamar High School is hosting another campus-wide pep rally to celebrate the football team advancing to the 5A Division I semifinals and continuing their undefeated streak. Lamar faces San Antonio O’Connor on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Burger Stadium in Austin. The winning team advances to the 5A Division I championship game. The last time Lamar made it this far was in 1953, the year they won the state title.

Who: Lamar High School students, staff, administrators, football players, cheerleaders and band
When: Friday, December 14 at 7:45 a.m.
Where: 3325 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77098