Tullos, Allison selected as new Pearland ISD head coaches

PEARLAND — It is not unusual for a school district to have to search for a new head football coach, but it is unusual when having to select two for two schools in the same year.

The Pearland Oilers played the 2017 football season without legendary coach Tony Heath who had been at the helm for 20 years and retired in late spring last year.

That did not allow enough time to find a replacement so the Oilers were guided by interim head coach James Farmer who was the Pearland defensive coordinator and a 14 year veteran on Heath's staff. Farmer had a winning season and Pearland appeared in their 17th straight playoffs. Farmer did a great job in the interim.

But following the season, Pearland ISD athletic director Ben Pardo put the Pearland job open for other potential coaches to submit their resumes, including Farmer, to fill the head coaching position on a permanent basis.

While that process was in place, Dawson head football coach Eric Wells, who had been at the helm of the Eagles since the school opened in 2008, announced his decision to step down, for health reasons, and accept a newly created position that was necessary due to the growth of PISD, which was assistant athletic director to Pardo.

So now, the district was in need of two new head football coaches to continue the success that both schools have established on the gridiron.

Both schools are considered powerhouses in the Houston area and in Class 6A.

Under Heath, Pearland won the Class 5A Division I state title in 2010 and returned to the state championship game in 2013 before coming up short against Allen.

Under Wells, the Eagles made two trips the Class 4A Division I state semifinals where they lost to five-time state champion Austin Lake Travis with one of those years (2011) falling to the most recent Heisman Trophy winner, Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, who was the Lake Travis quarterback.

After several interviews of many qualified coaches, the selection committee and the PISD school board narrowed the choices to two very strong coaches that they believe will continue the great winning traditions that were established by Heath and Wells.

Pearland High School

George Ranch Longhorns head coach Rick Tullos will be taking over the reigns for the Oilers.

Tullos comes to Pearland after serving as the Longhorns' head coach since 2011 when they opened.

In 2013, the Longhorns posted a 13-1 record, advancing to the Class 5A Region III Div. I championship game where they lost to Brenham, 35-6.

In 2014, George Ranch made a run to the Region III championship game, this time falling to Temple, 28-14, and finishing the season with a 12-2 mark. Its only other loss that season was a 38-35 loss to Friendswood.

In 2015, the Longhorns recorded a perfect 16-0 mark in their state championship run, including a 56-0 spanking of Mansfield Lake Ridge in the title game.

George Ranch was elevated from 5A to 6A in 2016 and have been in the same district with the Oilers and Dawson the past two years so Tullos is very familiar with Pearland falling to the Oilers 13-7 that season. They beat Dawson 42-25 in that initial meeting.

This past season (2017), George Ranch finished with a 6-4 record in the Hurricane Harvey-shortened campaign. The Longhorns defeated Pearland, 28-21, and lost to Dawson, 14-13, during the regular season.

Tullos is a graduate of Sam Houston State University.

Dawson High School

Clear Brook head coach Mike Allison will actually be coming home to Dawson. On the Pearland coaching staff before Dawson opened, Allison moved from the Oilers to go with former Pearland offensive coordinator Eric Wells to open up the new Pearland ISD high school.

Wells resigned, for health reasons from Dawson, to become the PISD assistant athletic director with AD Ben Pardo which opened the door for Allison who was at Clear Brook for the past three years.

Allison compiled a 15-17 record in his three years as the Brook head coach, reaching the playoffs one time and narrowly missing on the other two occasions.

Clear Brook finished fourth in District 24-6A in Allison's second year (2016), but the Wolverines made a deep run in the post-season including a 55-42 win over Dawson in the first round and a 42-18 win over Kingwood.

The Wolverines' playoff ride ended in the regional quarterfinals when they lost to Cy Ridge, 49-14.

While at Dawson, Allison was the Defensive Coordinator and saw the Eagles make the playoffs each year after the inaugural season that didn't have a senior class. Dawson advanced at least three rounds deep in the playoffs during his time there including two times to the Class 4A Division I state semifinals.

Allison has a proven record with Dawson and Eagle Nation should welcome him home with outstretched arms.

Both schools will return to District 23-6A after the University Interscholastic League (UIL) announced their biennial realignment with the following schools - Alief Elsik, Alief Hastings, Alief Taylor, Clute Brazoswood, Houston Strake Jesuit, Pearland, Pearland Dawson, and Richmond George Ranch.