Josh McCown may jump from former NFL QB to head coach, but he’s not jumping the line

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 a two-hour drive from Dallas, where McCown began his college career at SMU. And it’s about 15 minutes from Jacksonville High School, where McCown was named East Texas Player of the Year 25 years ago.

McCown coaches quarterbacks at Rusk, which has about 600 students. He also helps with washing, folding and distributing the player jerseys. He puts on face masks on helmets. He struggles to cheer on the freshman B-team. He drives a golf cart through the stadium and picks up trash.

He’s very much in his element here, but next year there’s a good chance McCown will be somewhere where the spotlight is much hotter.

After the 2020 season, when McCown was still a quarterback on the Texans’ roster, he interviewed for the Houston head coach position. The Texans instead hired David Culley and asked McCown to be their head coach. It was a tempting opportunity, but his tortuous football career had already demanded too many sacrifices from his wife, Natalie, and their children, Bridget, Owen, Aiden and Aubrey.

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McCown had to prioritize his family and get his shoes back on the red earth he came from. He said no thank you to the Texans and signed up with Rusk, where he coached Owen last year (he’s now at the University of Colorado) and now coaches Aiden, both senior starting quarterbacks.

After firing Culley last season, the Texans interviewed McCown again. He met them twice and spent time with general manager Nick Caserio, executive vice president Jack Easterby and owner Cal McNair.

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