Assuming you drive like a Texan, Rusk High School is about two and a half hours from Houston, where Josh McCown last played in the NFL. It’s also two hours from Dallas, where McCown began his college career at SMU. And it’s about 15 minutes away from Jacksonville High School, where McCown was named East Texas Player of the Year 25 years ago.
McCown coaches quarterbacks at Rusk, which has roughly 600 students. He also helps wash, fold and hand out players’ jerseys. He tightens facemasks on helmets. He gets in the huddle to encourage the freshman B team. Riding a golf cart through the stadium, he picks up trash.
He is very much in his element here, but next year, there’s a good chance McCown will be somewhere the spotlight burns much hotter.
After the 2020 season, when McCown was still a quarterback on the Texans roster, he interviewed for Houston’s head coaching vacancy. The Texans hired David Culley instead, then asked McCown to be associate head coach. It was an enticing opportunity, but his squiggly-line football career had already demanded too many sacrifices from his wife, Natalie, and their children, Bridget, Owen, Aiden and Aubrey.
McCown needed to prioritize his family and get his shoes back on the red dirt from which he came. He told the Texans no thank you and signed up at Rusk, where he coached Owen last year (he’s at the University of Colorado now) and now coaches Aiden, both senior starting quarterbacks.
After firing Culley this past offseason, the Texans interviewed McCown again. He met with them twice, spending time with general manager Nick Caserio, executive vice president Jack Easterby and owner Cal McNair.