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Massey announces retirement

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Sports

ChrisMasseyIN SPORTS
Deer Park Football Head Coach Chris Massey announced his retirement this week, capping a 38-year coaching career. Although Massey leaves the program with the most wins in Deer Park history with 92. He said he was appreciative of the school’s and community’s support over his 14 years with the Deer.

ChrisMassey 3Deer Park Head Football Coach Chris Massey confirmed he is stepping down from his position and will retire. Massey finishes his DP career with a 95-52-1 (.625) record, 12 playoff apperances and two district titles in 14 seasons for the Deer. file photo.After 14 years at the helm, Deer Park Head Football Coach Chris Massey announced his retirement, effective at the end of this school year.

On Thursday, Massey confirmed the rumor he was stepping down as head coach and assistant athletic director and will be working with Balfour, a company specializing in yearbooks, class and sports rings and other mementos.

"I think after 38 years, it was time. I had an opportunity that fell into my lap, and after talking about it, I would be crazy not to take advantage of it. Still, it was a hard decision to make when you’ve been doing this for so long," he said.

Hired in 2004, Massey leaves the program with the most head coaching wins in team history with 92 while his .625 winning percentage trails only Ron Lynch and Travis "Shorty" Hughes in Deer Park. Massey also led the Deer to two district titles and 12 playoff appearances. His 14 years as head coach is also the most in team history.

"They took a chance on a guy who had no head coaching experience and they brought me to a pretty special place," he said. "I’ll always be appreciative of Deer Park ISD and the community here. It’s hard to create the community support and involvement, but the district, the parents and community have been great."

Despite the lofty numbers, Massey said a high school program’s real success doesn’t necessarily come from scoreboard results.

"That’s for others to judge, as far as if we were successful on the field," he said. "The biggest measure of success is how successful the students are later in life. We strived to create great young men who grow up to be great husbands and fathers. If there’s any kind of legacy, or whatever you want to call it, that’s what it is."

Massey came to the Deer before the 2004 season, the fourth head coach in four years for a program that was reeling emotionally.

He succeeded Jerry Creel, who stepped up to the position on an interim basis after first-year Head Coach John Patterson died shortly before the 2003 school year. In December of 2004, Creel became the athletic director and Massey was later hired as head coach and assistant athletic director.

"Coach (Massey) came in at a pretty rough time, but he came in with high marks and we felt like he was the right man for the job. He had an immediate impact for our school and program," said Creel. "He has high expectations for his coaches and athletes to be good citizens and accountable."

Creel said those expectations were reflected in the team’s discipline and performance on the field, in the classroom and into adulthood.

As word began to spread about Massey’s decision to retire, players from as far back as the 1980s contacted their former coach to confirm the rumors and check on his wellbeing.

"The relationships that you build are always the best part and hearing from so many of my former players means a lot," he said. "Those relationships last because you coach a guy and you see him mature and he graduates and lives his life. Later on, he’s texting you, letting you know he’s getting married or sending you pictures of his kids. That’s what means the most in this job."

With a cumulative record of 92-56-1, Massey said no single win or moments stick out, but instead, he’ll remember moments that the team put together as a unit.

"Wins are hard to come by, but a win against La Porte always felt good. Playoff wins were special, even we didn’t have a lot of them. But the best moments were the wins because the best part of winning was seeing our team’s faces after the game. All the hard work, everything that they put in and to see that they were rewarded," he said.

This year, Massey and the Deer finished the season 6-4 and were undefeated as district champs. He was selected by his peers as the 2017 22-6A Coach of the Year.

Creel said the search Massey's successor is underway and the position of head football coach/assistant athletic director has been placed on the Deer Park ISD job board.