Football: Chico hires new AD – District tabs Sanders as next football coach

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, March 7, 2018
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Chico ISD hired Clayton Sanders as its next athletic director and head football coach by a unanimous 7-0 vote at Monday’s school board meeting.


Sanders served as Chico’s defensive coordinator last season in his first year with the team. He is also the Lady Dragons’ softball coach.

Sanders takes over for Lane Wilson, who was relieved of his coaching duties at the end of January.

“I’m beyond excited,” Sanders said. “I’m excited for these kids more than anything. I told them ‘We’re going to make Chico great again, and we’re going to base it off hard work.'”

Sanders began his duties as athletic director Tuesday. He will be paid $80,000 annually. He will be paid at a daily rate until July 1, at which time he will be given a one-year probationary contract said Chico Superintendent Don Elsom.

Sanders beat out 80 other applicants for the job.

“We’re looking to start in a different direction, and we feel like he’s the guy to do that,” Elsom said. “He’s the kind of guy we need. He’s the guy that builds relationships with kids and lets kids know he cares about them.”

Sanders has made coaching stops at Brookshire Royal, Garrison, Venus and Houston Kinkaid throughout his career – all schools facing challenges or in need of a rebuild. He then took the head coaching job at the Episcopal School of Dallas and helped turn an 0-30 program into a state semifinalist in just 18 months.

“He has a desire to do well and has a proven record of doing well even in places they have not typically done the best,” Elsom said. “We’re really excited about it.”

Sanders inherits a Chico team that went 4-7 last year, advancing to the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The Dragons lost to Valley View in the bi-district round and graduated senior quarterback Jerod Banks and receiver Kolton Forbus.

Blanks threw for 956 yards and eight touchdowns, while rushing for 794 yards and 12 scores. Forbus was Chico’s leading receiver, hauling in 27 passes for 465 yards and three touchdowns.

“I got here nine months ago, and I heard it here and there that we don’t have the kids. I just totally disagree with that,” Sanders said. “There is no bad student. There’s only a bad teacher. That’s how I live my life. These kids are going to be a direct reflection of myself and the coaching staff that I bring in.”

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