CISCO — After one of the most successful runs as a head football coach in Big Country history, longtime Cisco mentor Brent West announced Monday that he is stepping down from his position effective immediately.
The 49-year-old West will remain at Cisco as the athletic and transportation director and will keep his office in the Cisco fieldhouse. The head coaching position will be open within District 4-3A District II for 10 days, after which it will be opened to outside candidates if the position isn’t filled.
West, who took the Cisco job in 2001, finished with a 203-42 overall record (.828) with 16 district titles, five trips to state championship games (2002, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2013) and a state title in 2013.
“I feel like I’ve had a great opportunity here and we’ve had a great program, but I feel like I have some coaches who can do an even better job,” West said. “With me still in a leadership role as the athletic director, I think some new energy would help move things forward even more. I know I’ve got some good coaches who will do a great job with it.
“I think the stress of it got to me a little bit as I got older. I just feel like it’s best for me to get out of the way and help in the paperwork role as athletic director.”
West has literally been around the game of football since birth.
The son of longtime De Leon football coach Grady West, Brent graduated from DHS in 1989 before attending Howard Payne University. His coaching career began with a seven-year stint as an assistant in Hico before coming to Cisco as an assistant in 2000.
In his first year as Cisco’s head coach, Brent’s team finished at 2-8, leading him to consider a career as a game warden. He elected to give it one more year and in 2002, his Loboes finished at 15-1 and reached the first of his five state championship games, falling to Rosebud-Lott.
To this day, it stands as one of the most dramatic turnarounds in Texas high school football history and served as a springboard for nearly two decades of coaching success that few in Big Country history can top or rival.
“From that point on, I knew I was where I needed to be — Cisco, Texas,” West said. “I felt like I had the faith and support of the people and school district from that point on and it has been great ever since.”
West’s tenure at Cisco reached a pinnacle in 2013 when the Loboes topped Refugio 56-36 for the Class 2A DII state championship at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. CHS closed that season with a 16-0 record.
As for how he will handle his first Friday night next season, he admits it won’t be easy.
“I’ll still have the old butterflies, as always and I’ll be nervous about it,” Brent said. “But it will be a little bit different as far as the stress of it all.
“I don’t know how I’ll feel, to be honest. … That’s a door we’ll cross through when it comes. But I’m sure I’ll be pretty emotional, so I might have to hide myself for a while or fake it the best I can.”
The West tenure at Cisco
§ Career Record: 203 wins 42 losses
§ 2019 11-2 Regional Semifinalist
§ 2018 9-1 Bi-District Finalist
§ 2017 9-3 Area Finalist
§ 2016 9-2 Area Finalist
§ 2015 10-2 Area Finalist
§ 2014 13-1 Regional Finalist
§ 2013 16-0 State Champions
§ 2012 9-2 Area Finalist
§ 2011 14-1 State Finalist
§ 2010 4-6
§ 2009 12-1 Regional Finals
§ 2008 14-2 State Finalist
§ 2007 14-1 State Semifinalist
§ 2006 14-2 State Finalist
§ 2005 8-3 Bi-District Finalist
§ 2004 10-2 Area Finalist
§ 2003 10-2 Area Finalist
§ 2002 15-1 State Finalist
§ 2001 2-8