McKinney High School has a new head football coach, and his name is Marcus Shavers. That name may not be top-of-mind to the average resident of Collin County, but over the last two years, he has captured the attention—and respect—of those who follow high school football in the Lubbock area.

And, it’s a safe bet that a lot more people in this neck of the woods will soon be familiar with that name as well.

Shavers’ hire follows the departure of Coach Jeff Smith who led the MHS Lions for eight seasons and who recently accepted a position as the assistant athletic director for Prosper ISD.

“We are very excited to start a new chapter of football at McKinney High School,” said MISD Athletic Director Shawn Pratt. “Coach Shavers is a great motivator and relationship builder, and I believe he is going to be outstanding for those student athletes. His success with the football program at Estacado High School has been impressive, and we are excited to see what he will do with the McKinney High School program.”

Shavers’ arrival in McKinney, if not exactly a homecoming, brings him back to the area where he started out as an All-State and U.S. Army All-American defensive lineman for Allen High School. His story during that time is an inspiring tale of determination and kindness, and the coaches who helped him through it, no doubt impacted his approach to coaching.

He’ll take over the job at MHS after a relatively brief, but highly successful, run at Estacado High School in Lubbock ISD where he led the previously struggling Matadors to an 18-6 record over the course of his two seasons as head coach. In 2017, the Matadors posted a 10-2 record, earned a district championship and advanced to the area finals while outscoring opponents 472-165.

Shavers was the District Coach of the Year and the Lone Star Varsity Journal 3A/4A Coach of the Year. He was named Dave Campbell’s Inspirational Coach of the Week for Week 10 of the 2017 season, and his team boasted the #2 ranked scoring defense and the #3 ranked scoring offense in 4A Division I.

Two years before, Shavers accepted the head coach job at Estacado High with a total of seven years of coaching experience under his belt that included two years as the associate head football coach and defensive coordinator at West Mesquite High School and, prior to that, two years as the assistant head football coach and defensive coordinator for Wichita Falls High School.

The program that he inherited at Estacado in 2016 had posted a disappointing 2-8 record the previous season. With Shaver at the helm, there would be no more of that. By the end of their 2016 season, the team had righted the ship, recorded eight wins and advanced to the area finals. This remarkable change in course earned the team recognition as one of Dave Campbell’s Top 5 Most-Improved Offenses in 4A football.

Perhaps even more impressive, though, has been Shavers’ care for his players. News stories out of Lubbock have documented his routine of picking up nutritious food for his players, some of whom would have otherwise arrived at—and completed—practice hungry. He and his staff helped them with rides when they couldn’t get to practice.

“Anytime you can help somebody, you need to,” Shavers said in an interview with the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal last November. “I always tell people, ‘Where you can do better, you should do better.’”

In the same interview, Allen Head Coach Terry Gambill said of Shavers, “Marcus is that type of person. He cares about young people. He cares about his players. And, he wants to see his players to be able to have the same opportunities that he had.”

Now at McKinney High School, Shavers will take over a football program that has built success over the past few seasons, posting a 7-4 record and earning a playoff berth in 2017. His approach isn’t likely to change with the new surroundings.

“Philosophically, the reason I got into coaching was because I believe in giving kids an outstanding experience—an outstanding athletic experience while they’re going through their high school days,” Shavers said. “And, some of those things that we did [at Estacado] were just to enhance that athletic experience, and I plan on doing a lot of those same things here. Coach Smith did a really good job with that program and some of the things that he’s done turning it around are some things that I’ll keep in place going forward.

“I’m very excited to get to work with the players, parents, faculty, staff and community supporters at McKinney High School and start working together to build something that we can all be proud of,” Shavers said.

So, remember the name.

Because Marcus Shavers is here. And, a new season is coming for McKinney High School football.