Zierlein brings know how to Knights
By L. Scott Hainline
On and off the football field, family is at the center of Clear Falls coach Mike Zierlein's world.
He's the first coach and campus athletics coordinator at the Clear Creek ISD's newest high school that opens to freshmen and sophomores in August, and he's fitting right in.
It's been a breath of fresh air," said Zierlein, who reported to Clear Falls two weeks ago. The opportunity to work with outstanding people like (Clear Falls) principal Karen Engle and (Clear Creek ISD) athletic director Bill Daws is tremendous, and what we're trying to do right now is lay the groundwork for what will be a great school and education village (high school, middle school and elementary in the same vicinity).
Something like this doesn't come along very often, and on top of everything, it's just a great community to do it in."
Zierlein was the head coach at Class 5A Austin Akins the past three years, and has multiple ties to the Houston area.
He attended Lamar Consolidated High School as a freshman and sophomore before moving to New Orleans, and after a collegiate playing career at Nichols State, and one year there as a student assistant, he became an assistant coach at Victoria Stroman.
Next came a three-year stay at Bay City with head coach Chad Morris during the Blackcats' deep runs to a 4A state title in 2000 and the 2001 state finals.
Morris was recently named offensive coordinator at the University of Tulsa after leading Austin Lake Travis to back-to-back 4A state crowns.
I learned a lot from coach Morris," Zierlein said. It was a great experience."
Following his five seasons at Stroman and three at Bay City, Zierlein returned to Lamar Consolidated as offensive coordinator.
Mike has some very good coaching bloodlines and he'll be a very good head coach," Lamar Consolidated coach Lydell Wilson said. We coached together at Stroman, and he brought a lot of offensive knowledge to Lamar Consolidated, and helped develop James and Jacquizz Rodgers."
Zierlein's three Akins teams went 4-25 (Akins is 19-60 overall in eight varsity seasons).
Family in the area eases the move and Zierlein looks forward to being closer to his brother, sports radio personality Lance, and mother and father, Marcia and longtime college and pro coach Larry.
Every Clear Falls sport will start from ground zero, and it's really a unique and exciting situation," Zierlein said. It's nice because you're not taking over someone else's problems, and you get to put your touch on everything, even though ordering socks and jocks isn't that exciting."
Clear Falls football is two years away from varsity action (2012), and will have freshmen and junior varsity teams the next two seasons.
How many teams will depend on the numbers," Zierlein said. We'll possibly schedule a Class A or 2A varsity against our junior varsity to give them a little taste of facing a team with seniors."
All other Clear Falls sports start varsity play in the 2011-12 school year without a senior class, and are expected to be placed in a Class 4A district.
The next phase is to get the girls athletic coordinator and other head coaches in place, and keep building from there," Zierlein said. We're working out of Mossman Elementary right now, and the new high school has a release date in May, and a really nice athletic complex.
We're excited about the future and all the possibilities, and hoping it gets here in a hurry."
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