Ferris’ Layne accepts Redwater job
Head football coach, AD departs Yellowjackets after 5 seasons
Ferris head football coach and athletic director Brandon Layne was hired Thursday night as the new head coach and AD at Redwater High School near Texarkana.
Layne leaves Ferris after five seasons with a 21-31 record at the school, a 28-36 mark overall as a head coach, four straight playoff appearances and 14 total years of coaching experience. He will soon be relocating to Bowie County with his wife of 16 years, Sarah, and their two children, Brady, 11, and Jace, 7.
Ferris ISD has already posted the job opening and will be closing it in two weeks as the district appears to be moving fast to fill the vacancy.
Last season, the Yellowjackets finished 5-5 and placed third in District 5-4A (Division II), losing to Sunnyvale in the bi-district round, 38-14. The team’s best season under Layne was in 2018, when the Jackets finished 6-4 and were district runners-up. Although Ferris made the playoffs in each of the last four seasons under Layne, the team was unable to advance past the bi-district round.
At Redwater, Layne replaces Tommy Graf, who spent nine seasons as head coach at his alma mater and 13 seasons at the school overall. The Class 3A Division II Dragons struggled to 1-9 finishes in each of the last three years and went winless in district play in 2019 and 2020.
Layne is a native of Van Alstyne and was a member of the Panthers’ Class 2A Division I state runner-up team in 2001. He helped lead the Ennis Lions to the 2014 Class 5A Division II state championship as the offensive coordinator, then served as one year as head coach at La Vernia before returning to Ellis County in 2016.
In 2017, after his first season in Ferris, Layne was among a number of coaches who had been employed by La Vernia ISD who were named in a civil lawsuit brought by students accusing the coaches of hazing. However, following an investigation by the Texas Rangers, Layne and the other coaches were exonerated and dismissed from the case.
Layne is the second Ellis County head football coach to depart so far this offseason. Waxahachie head coach Todd Alexander stepped down in early January after three seasons in order to return to the classroom. The Indians finished 5-5 in 2020 and made their first-ever Class 6A playoff appearance.