MISSION — Mission High athletic coordinator and head football coach Koy Detmer is expected to accept the same position at Somerset High School near San Antonio in the coming days, returning to where his high school football coaching career first began.
In an interview with The Monitor on Friday evening, Detmer acknowledged that he has applied for the position at Somerset ISD, which is expected to hold a school board meeting early next week to officially hire a new head football coach, and said that any reports he had resigned from his post at Mission High were completely erroneous.
Detmer added that his intention was to hold off on any mention of a potential move until he had had the opportunity to personally meet with his Mission Eagles football players and coaching staff and brief them.
“It’s a really hard thing to leave here. Mission is a special place to our family. We’ve been in this heart and soul with the program, our kids and the community,” Detmer said. “It’s very hard to pull away from that because there’s that bond that connects you with the kids, the coaches, the people and the parents. It’s a very hard thing to pull away from.”
“What’s also hard about the whole thing is that you’re conflicted because, at the same time, there’s the joy of getting the chance to go back and be with our family and coach Koal and all of those kinds of things,” he added. “It’s both ends of the spectrum of emotions. It’s tough, but at the same time we know it’s the right thing to do right now.”
The transition for Detmer will reunite him with his family and start a new chapter in the family’s storied South Texas high school football legacy.
Detmer’s father Sonny, who coached at Mission High from the late 1980s to early 2000s and at Somerset for most of the past two decades, died unexpectedly before the 2020 high school football season began at the age of 73.
Detmer played for his father and shattered national high school passing records at the helm of the high-flying Mission Eagles offense before moving on to play college football for the Colorado Buffaloes and later enjoyed a lengthy playing career in the NFL.
After his retirement from professional football, Detmer joined his father’s coaching staff at Somerset as the team’s offensive coordinator to begin his coaching career before accepting his first high school football head coaching job at his alma mater in 2017.
Now, Detmer will return to Somerset where he will become his father’s successor and coach his youngest son Koal, the Bulldogs’ returning starting quarterback, for his senior season.
“We’re going through the process because with my dad passing and going up there over the Christmas holiday, there’s a void with our family up there,” he said. “It’s the right thing for us to do to go back and fill that void and we’re looking forward to that. As hard as a decision as it’s been and as hard as it is to pull away from down here and the kids and the people and the community, it’s the right thing for us to do.”
“I’m very excited for that part of it being able to coach Koal (during his senior year) big time. I had the opportunity (to coach) little Koy (Detmer, Jr.) and that was a lot of fun and a great experience. Those are times we’ll always cherish and to have the opportunity to do the same thing with Koal as he comes through his senior year, that will be a big deal for me and our family.”
Detmer leaves a legacy as one of the greatest high school football players in the history of the Rio Grande Valley after leading the Mission Eagles to the Class 5A state semifinals in 1990 as a junior and an undefeated regular-season finish in 1991, joining Tom Landry as the only senior quarterbacks to ever accomplish that feat at Mission High.
He graduated from Mission as the all-time single-season leader in passing yards in Texas high school football history and to this day ranks fourth on the RGV’s career touchdown passes list.
Detmer jumped at the chance to return to Mission when he was offered the head coaching position four years ago and the opportunity to build up the next generation of Eagles football stars.
In four years as the head coach of the Eagles, Detmer helped put Mission High back on the map across the state. He led the Eagles to a 25-14 record in four seasons, a share of the District 30-6A championship in 2019 and the first playoff win in school history at the Class 6A Division I level in 2020 by topping San Benito in the bi-district round.
During the 2020 campaign, Detmer’s squad tallied one of the top seasons for a Mission High squad in years after the team petitioned and protested for the right to play football amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Eagles rolled to a District 31-6A south zone title by beating every opponent they faced by 30 or more points before falling to then-unbeaten Edinburg Vela in the district championship game. Mission also fell to Laredo United South by one point in overtime in the 6A DI area round of the playoffs, which deprived the team of their third trip to the regional semifinals in the last 30 years.
“It’s been a great experience coming down here. I’m very thankful and appreciative that Mission gave me an opportunity,” Detmer said. “The support of the administration, the community, the parents and the kids have been great. They’ve bought into the program, the system and things we were teaching.
“Mission is home for me and it’s a special place for our family. I’ve always wanted to try to give back in some kind of way. I’m thankful for the opportunity to give back to Mission, the kids and the people down here. It’s been a special place for our family for a long time now.”
Should Detmer officially be offered the position at Somerset early next week, several current RGV head football coaches would become early frontrunners to accept the head coaching vacancy at Mission High.
Two names that have been linked to that potential opening are current PSJA High head coach Lupe Rodriguez and current Sharyland Pioneer head coach Tom Lee.
Rodriguez, one of the most prolific quarterbacks in Rio Grande Valley high school football history, starred behind center for the Eagles in the mid-1980s and was a finalist for the head coaching job in Mission in 2017.
Lee has also a history with Mission High, whose late father was Rodriguez’s head coach on the high-flying Eagles teams of the mid-1980s.
Email: [email protected]