Texas Longhorn, NFL kicker Phil Dawson takes Austin high school coaching job

High School Sports

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Former Texas Longhorns kicker and 21-year NFL veteran Phil Dawson is returning to Austin to coach high school football.

Dawson will be the new head football coach and assistant athletic director at Hyde Park Schools. The school announced the hiring last week on social media. Dawson responded to Hyde Park Schools’ Twitter post writing — “It’s time. Faith. Family. Football.”

In his introductory press conference Tuesday, Dawson said his philosophy is to put his players first and to “celebrate every accomplishment.”

“Any success you accomplish as a player, you never do it alone,” he said. “This won’t be any different. As we build this program, any success we have will not be the result of one person’s effort. It will be everybody.”

He said every player, from the superstar to the kids that might play one or two plays per game, will be celebrated for their contributions just the same. Dawson himself said he was a player who played just “five or six plays” a game since he was a kicker, but his contributions to the team’s success were just as important as players who saw the field more. He wants to make sure those players feel part of the team all the same.

“We’re going to unify our team, we’re going to unify our school,” Dawson said. “By celebrating improvement, that’s how that happens.”

Dawson was previously an assistant coach at a high school in Tennessee, following his retirement from the NFL in 2019. His son, Dru, started as quarterback for Vandegrift High School in 2019.

Hyde Park is moving in a new direction to find football success after finishing winless in the 2021 season.

Impressive football career

Dawson is an NFL legend, playing an impressive 21 years with the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals. He appeared in over 300 NFL games — a feat accomplished by few other players. Dawson was voted to the Pro Bowl roster in 2012.

The Dallas native kicked at UT from 1994 to 1997, leaving Texas with 13 school records. He was an All-American and four-year starter for the Longhorns.

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