There weren’t many high school football programs much better than Alice’s in the 80s.
The Coyotes were like an icon of area football at the time. Like they still do today, they’d burst out on the field before kickoff through a giant run-thru proclaiming the Coyotes, “The Pride Of South Texas.”
And now, the coach responsible for orchestrating Alice’s run through the mid-80s is being honored by the Texas High School Coaches Association. Bush and Calallen coach Phil Danaher, along with three other coaches, are being inducted into the THCCA Hall of Honor during the association’s annual convention this summer.
Between 1983 and 1998, Bush led the Coyotes to the Class 5A state playoffs in five of his six seasons here. Lined up in the WIng-T offense, Alice was prolific. In 1985, the Coyotes had Texas’ second-highest scoring offense behind Houston Yates.
Bush had a record of 51-17-1 in Alice. In 1985, the Coyotes were 12-1. For years, that season stood as Alice’s last district champion campaign. The Coyotes didn’t win another district championship until 2008.
Bush left Alice in 1989 for Gregory-Portland and guided the Wildcats to the Class 4A semifinals in 1989 and 1992. Through his career, he also coached at Dammitt, Livingston, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo, Donna, San Marcos and PSJA North. In his 34-year career, Bush had a career record of 271-112-8. His teams won 12 district titles and were in the postseason in 24 seasons.
Ironically, Bush is entering the Hall of Honor with his longtime coaching rival Phil Danaher of Calallen. Danaher’s resume with the Wildcats is remarkable. He has a career record is 407-103-4 in 41 seasons. Under Danaher, Calallen has won 17 district championships and they’ve been in the playoffs in all but one of his 31 seasons. The Wildcats have played in the state semifinals 10 times and they played in the Class 4A state championship in 2005.
The remainder of the Hall of Honor class includes longtime Rio Grande Valley basketball coach Roy Garcia, basketball coach Robert Hale and football assistant and track coach Percy Hines.