JARRELL, Texas — The Marty Murr era has officially begun in Jarrell, and the Cougars believe his arrival could push them back into the playoffs in 2021.
Murr comes to Central Texas from San Augustine, where his teams made it to the state semifinals in three consecutive seasons. Murr called Jarrell the "hidden gem" of Austin and Central Texas, saying there is a lot of room for growth both in the town and on the football field.
His players are buying in to his passion.
"I like the intensity," senior Emerson Kirby said. "It's definitely a lot better than last year. It's a good start for a new coaching staff, and I really am enjoying what they're doing."
The eyes of opposing defenses will likely focus on Cougar running back Derrick Warren Jr., who won the 4A state long jump title in 2020. He has already received a few Division One offers. "DJ" says the coaching transition has been smooth.
"At first, senior year, no one wants a new coach to come in because you are used to your old coaching staff," Warren Jr. said. "But coming in Coach Murr has been an absolutely wonderful coach."
Murr says he plans to find ways to get his playmaker the ball.
"We like to throw it around," Murr said. "So we will do that. We'll throw lots of screens. When you've gotta a guy like DJ though, we'll run the ball."
Jarrell won just one game in 2020, but despite their lack of success on the scoreboard, they still came just one game shy of making the playoffs. With any marked improvement, the Cougars could be well-positioned to return to the postseason in 2021.
"Our run game this year should be a lot better, because our scheme is a lot better," Kirby said. "Our pass plays still should work, but our run game is definitely gonna be... with our D1 running back... it's always been our strong suit."
Jarrell is projected to finish the season fifth in District 9-4A II. They open the season against Austin Northeast.