Jehling determined to see all Howe athletes succeed
Howe High School coach William Jehling stepped into the athletic director and head football coach position after coach Zack Hudson stepped down in the spring of 2018.
Jehling has 19 years of experience coaching Texas football, with seven of those years as a head coach. He is in his third season at Howe.
In the spring of 2018, Jehling was the head coach at 2A Hamshire-Fannett High School, southeast of Beaumont. He and his wife, Amy, had been displaced when Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area and the position in Howe became available.
The couple knew Howe ISD was the right choice for their family. Their son, Jackson, is autistic and, being in close proximity to Dallas, they were excited to have a large medical community nearby to choose physicians for his care.
As a United States Marine Corps veteran, discipline was one of the most important expectations Jehling had for his new athletic program.
“I do not believe in running a straight football program as an athletic director,” he said. “I care about every sport and want all of our teams to succeed.”
Off season for the football team isn't geared toward football as it is in most programs - it is designed to build athletes.
Jehling has said since his first day in Howe, “I am here to mold you into good men, good husbands and good fathers.” He believes in teaching his athletes to be contributing members of society, no matter whether they attend college, join the military or go into the workforce.
“Our athletes feel like part of a brotherhood, and team unity has been a strong asset for this program,” he said.
Howe has seen success the past two years from athletes of other sports who have not played football since junior high school. They have come into the football program and have likely been successful due to their understanding Jehling’s expectations.
The 2020 Howe varsity football team is definitely youthful, with a majority of the team being sophomores. One is returning varsity quarterback Austin Haley.
Jehling boasted, “Austin is physically bigger and stronger than he was last year. He is the type of quarterback that Howe will only get once every 15 years. He is an amazing talent and I am very blessed to be his coach.”
The coach said other offensive players to keep an eye on this season are Jalen Thornton, Jordan Jones, Carson Daniels and Ryan Hough. Although Howe has a young defense, fans should also watch Jackson Adkins, Luke Jackson, Will Fleming and Jaryn Grisham.
Jehling is also excited about five new faces on the coaching staff.
“This is the first year that I have really gotten to bring in people that I have selected and I am very happy with the group of coaches that we have this year,” he said, adding that during the selection process, he looked for people who would give him input and were committed to staying with and building the program.
COVID-19 has the coaching staff working together to create a safe environment for student-athletes. The coaches have studied the UIL guidelines and are prepared to implement the rules.
Jehling and his staff are taking temperatures, sanitizing and making the health and safety of the athletes their top focus.
Due to the pandemic, no tickets will be available for purchase at the gate of varsity games. The home side has allocated 550 tickets to be sold in the Howe High School office. The visitor’s side will have 500 tickets that will be sent in advance to the visiting teams’ schools for sales.
When Howe is the visiting team, it will follow each respective school's guidelines, which are based on the stadium size, but all ticket sales will be made before the game. Only JV and junior high school games will have ticket sales at the gate on game night due to the lower number of fans typically in attendance at those games.
After missing spring 2020 sports due to the pandemic, Jehling, his coaches and athletes are excited to be back on the field doing what they love.