School Spotlight: Katy High School (Katy, Texas)

Katy High School is a 6A High School program that plays in Region 3- District 19 in Texas. Katy has had a storied history of success and winning. They boast 9 Texas State Championships in football, 5 of them coming under current head coach Gary Jospeh. Coach Joseph is a legend in the Katy area. Along with his 5 State Championship wins, he has brought the Tigers to the big game 9 times as head coach. In 2016 he was inducted into Texas High School Football Hall Of Fame, and it’s not hard to see why. Since taking over as head coach in 2004, Coach Joseph has an impressive record of 257-25. The Tigers went 10-2 this past season, going undefeated in district play (8-0). They reached the Texas D1- 6A- Region 3 area game in the playoffs, yet fell short to Cy- Fair 28-21 in a crushing overtime loss. Despite this, the Tiger’s had a great season. Class of 2025 quarterback Gunner Nelson threw for 1,289 yards and 17 touchdowns this season, along with holding a mind- boggling 137.6 passer rating. Katy had 4 players break 200 receiving yards this season, with 2 of them going for above 350 (Chase Johnsey: 212 yards, Cade McCall: 214 yards, Israel Olotu-Judah: 368 yards, Oliver Ginn: 380 yards). The air is not the only place the Tigers find success. Class of 2026 running back Tremayne Hill, rushed for 1,386 yards to compliment his 18 touchdowns on the ground. The efficiency on the ground does not stop with Hill. Class of 2024 running back Romel Jordan also had himself a nice season, carrying the rock into the endzone 13 times. Some very notable names have come out of this powerhouse of a football program, most notable of them being NFL quarterback Andy Dalton. Cornerback Terrence Frederick, and offensive linemen Eric Heitmann and Jorge Diaz are a few other names that Katy has sent to the NFL. Coach Joseph feels that they have reloaded, and will make a push far into the playoffs next season. I did a Q&A with Coach Jospeh that you can find below.

What are some core values that you believe build successful teams?

It starts with trust and respect. Respecting your teammates, respecting the process, respecting women. Unselfishness and tradition are values we hold high. Heart is also a core value around here.
Quarterback Gunner Nelson looking downfield to pass

Do you consider yourself to be more of an offensive, or defensive minded coach?

I was a defensive coordinator before I became the head coach, so I am more of a defensive minded coach.
Wide Receiver Israel Olotu- Judah making a hard cut in the open field

You guys had a tough overtime loss in the playoffs to Cy-Fair. How is the team recouping, and learning from that loss? 

Every team is different. I don’t want to sit here and compare them to last years team. The Cy-fair game was tough, whenever you lose in overtime it always stings a little bit. It’s not about last year or anything else, it’s about this group and this years team. We’re forming our own identity with this group.
Wide Receiver Cade McCall returning a kick

It seems like the majority of the team is graduating. How do you plan to plug those holes, and make sure the team doesn’t lose its pace?

It’s always a process around here. That’s what having a program is about, being consistent. After this group graduates, it’s going to be the next group of seniors and juniors. The expectations around here don’t change. That’s why we have a program, we are not a one hit wonder. Our kids understand the process and understand what it’s going to take when they walk into the building.
Wide Receiver Oliver Ginn streaks down the sideline with Head Coach Gary Joseph watching from the sideline

What does it mean to you, to be able to send these kids to colleges that they may not have gotten into without football?

We actually had some ex players come in and talk the other day. High school football isn’t just about getting the scholarship. We would love all of our kids to have the opportunity to play college ball but this is about learning how to compete and growing up into being a man. It’s about learning right from wrong and accountability. That’s what this program is teaching them. If they’re talented, sure it’s great to get them to play in division one football but if you don’t fit the mold right now, you probably won’t play D1 football. That doesnt mean youre not a successful high school football player. Sometimes people get it misconstrued where it’s all about getting a scholarship or playing division one football. It’s really about kids growing up.
Running back Tremane Hill shedding defenders

What is your process for setting depth charts at the beginning of the year, and what are you looking for in these players?

That’s why we have spring training. We have the offseason to evaluate our kids. After going through an offseason, we know where we are at going into the summer. We’re looking for kids that have a fight to them, kids that will sit there and be aggressive and be confident in what they are doing. I think they gain confidence from us giving them those reps.
Running back Chase Johnsey hurdles a defender

What does it mean to you to have your son Jeff following your coaching career path and winning a State Championship at Port Neches?

It’s quite an honor for me to have a son that’s succeed in coaching as well. I was the son of a coach too so it’s kind of a legacy. For him to win on his own was gratifying because I know the commitment, time, and work ethic he has. Winning a State Championship at any level is not easy. Some people don’t realize there are people who coach for 30 years and never have the opportunity to play in a State Championship. It’s a really neat deal knowing he accomplished something that he will always have with him.
Running back Romel Jordan takes a handoff from Quarterback Gunner Nelson

What do you think separates Texas high school football from the rest of the nation?

In Texas, the preparation is second to none. The people in Texas don’t mind giving you the means to be successful. Everyone doesn’t have a dome stadium or an indoor facility to practice in. People, such as head of athletics, will sit there and help your kids be successful. A lot of the parents believe in what’s being taught at the high school level. A lot of these coaches are father figures to their players. The coaches here are full time teachers so they’re with the kids everyday and I think that’s important.
Katy Head Coach Gary Joseph