Football

WELCOME TO GRACE ATHLETICS. THIS IS COUGAR FOOTBALL.

Athletics
High School Football
Junior Varsity Football
Middle School Football

High School Football

2 Tim. 4:2 says, “Preach the Word. Be prepared in Season and out of season. Correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction.” We host a Mom’s Clinic each year to teach a little football and cap it off with our Mom’s praying in every part of our stadium for everyone associated with a Friday night game as well as for our opponents. We host a Father/Son Kickoff Luncheon to start the season and Breakfast to close out the year. In the past, our team has taken part in many other community service projects. Our team is involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Heart of a Champion Bowl each June. We have a team devotion before every game and the Cougar football team has been in the playoffs 11 out of the past 12 years, winning one district title, 3 Bi-District titles and a Regional championship.

MESSAGE FROM COACH RUSSELL

Camp of Champs is a great experience for all of our student athletes. While we expect the summers to be full of family vacations, activities, and other trips, we strongly urge all of our athletes to attend as many sessions as possible to be the best version of themselves they can be. We encourage attending college camps, etc., to help them improve our athletes, but we also believe that Camp of Champs is a big part of their success in all activities. 

The summer football activities are listed below. If, as the summer moves along, some activities have to be altered, we will notify everyone as quickly as possible. Teams and individuals that reach their potential do so by being intentional about being their best throughout the year. 

Enjoy your summer, and be prepared to be the BEST! See you soon!

Coach Russell

NEWS

CALENDAR

August 2024

Aug 16

6:00 pm
Scrimmage Football – Men’s Varsity vs Alba-Golden HS – Home

Aug 22

6:00 pm
Scrimmage Football – Men’s Varsity vs Jefferson – Home

Aug 30

7:30 pm
Football – Men’s Varsity vs Queen City – Home
View Calendar
Read Bio

Tim Russell

Head Football & Track and Field Coach

Tim Russell

Head Football & Track and Field Coach

B.A., University of Houston

Coach Russell has coached football for 30 years. He lives by the words in II Timothy 4:2 which states “There is no offseason!” He is married to the former Jana Crosby and the two graduated from the University of Houston in 1991. Tim and Jana have two daughters: Bailee and Macey. Macey attends Harding University, and Bailee was killed by a drunk driver in 2016. Coach Russell enjoys the team atmosphere that each great football team possesses.

Read Bio

Chris Jones

Bible, Football & Baseball Coach

Chris Jones

Bible, Football & Baseball Coach

Coach Jones joined the Grace Community School in 2022. He has an extensive coaching career, including Allen High School, Decatur High School, and Prestwood Christian Academy. He has an undergraduate and master’s degree from the University of North Texas.

Read Bio

Kendall Fox

Physical Education, Football & Track and Field Coach

Kendall Fox

Physical Education, Football & Track and Field Coach

B.S., University of Texas, Tyler

Kendall has worked in the middle school since 2010 at Grace Community School. He has taught sixth grade P.E and coached high school baseball and football during his time at the school. Kendall has received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Tyler. He is happily married to Emily Fox and they both work with the student ministry at Grace Community Church.

Read Bio

David Garza

Football & Basketball Coach

David Garza

Football & Basketball Coach

Born and raised in San Antonio, TX Coach Garza moved to Tyler in 2011. He played football at TJC and Texas College and is in his 6th year of coaching. In his first year with Grace, he’ll be coaching varsity/middle school football, middle school basketball, and middle school golf. Coach Garza has been married to his wife Shelby for three years and has two daughters Charlotte Grace and Ellie Kye.

Read Bio

Darian “Stump” Godfrey

Football Coach

Darian “Stump” Godfrey

Football Coach

Read Bio

Chris Hemphill

Bible, Head Soccer, Football Coach, & Equity and Inclusion Coordinator

Chris Hemphill

Bible, Head Soccer, Football Coach, & Equity and Inclusion Coordinator

B.A., University of Georgia

Coach Hemphill has played soccer for twenty years, both at the high school and college level. He set the Georgia 5A state record for career goals with 115, was a First Team All-District, and District MVP selection. He played football for The University of Georgia for one year, and was a two-year starter for the Darton College Cavaliers soccer team in Albany, Georgia, earning All-Conference honors. He earned a trial for a professional team in England before retiring to pursue ministry. Coach Hemphill has coached soccer off and on for ten years. He served as an assistant coach at Lee County High School and Deerfield-Windsor School (Georgia). He currently coaches the middle school soccer teams for Grace and is an assistant coach for the boys and girls varsity teams. He also coaches a girls club team for FC Dallas in Tyler. In addition to soccer, Coach Hemphill has coached middle school and high school football at Grace Community School since 2010. He is also an online seminary student pursuing a master’s degree in Christian Apologetics.

Read Bio

Wesley Johnston

Mathematics, Football & Varsity Baseball Coach

Wesley Johnston

Mathematics, Football & Varsity Baseball Coach

M.Ed., Lamar University

Wes joined Grace Community School in 2021. He received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education math and a minor in religion from East Texas Baptist University. He later attended Lamar University, receiving a master’s degree in educational administration. Wes has eight years of experience, having served in many roles, including administration, teacher, and coach at both Gladewater High School and Brownsboro High School. Coach Johnston and his wife, Miranda, have two sons, Hudson and Knox, and a dog, Dixie. He loves to hang out with his family, coach, and ride his motorcycle.

Read Bio

Ric Radcliffe

History, Football & Track and Field Coach

Ric Radcliffe

History, Football & Track and Field Coach

B.A., Wheaton College

Ric has been teaching history at the high school level since 2012, and has been with Grace Community School since 2015. He received his bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and History/Social Sciences with an endorsement in Math from Wheaton College, where he also had the privilege to play college football. He has been married to Mrs. Radcliffe since the summer of 2013. She, too, is currently working at Grace Community School in the middle school as the eighth grade math teacher. Ric also serves as a football coach on both the varsity and junior varsity levels, as well as one of the high school track and field coaches.

Read Bio

Eddie Starkes

Football Coach

Eddie Starkes

Football Coach

Read Bio

Tobias Washington

Football Coach

Tobias Washington

Football Coach

Born and raised from Henderson, TX, I pursued my love for football at Baylor and Mary Hardin-Baylor University. Passionate about coaching football and track, I thrive on building impactful relationships with students, fostering growth both athletically and personally with mentorship and teamwork.

Read Bio

Mark Wells

Football Coach

Mark Wells

Football Coach

B.S., University of North Texas

Coach Wells grew up in Tyler playing football, baseball, basketball, and track.  He graduated from the University of North Texas with a B.S. in Criminal Justice.  After working as a U.S. Border Patrol Agent and later a U.S. Federal Air Marshal, Coach Wells returned to Tyler and married his high school sweetheart.  They have three children, Hadlee (Grace ‘15), Dylan (Grace ‘17), and Brayden (Grace ‘26).  Coach Wells and his wife, Andy, also volunteer with GSM at the Grace OJ campus.  Coach Wells began coaching middle school track in 2020 and transitioned to middle school football that same Spring.  Coach Wells is the offensive and defensive line coach for the middle school and serves as support for JV and Varsity football.

Junior Varsity Football

2 Tim. 4:2 says, “Preach the Word. Be prepared in Season and out of season. Correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction.” We host a Mom’s Clinic each year to teach a little football and cap it off with our Mom’s praying in every part of our stadium for everyone associated with a Friday night game as well as for our opponents. We host a Father/Son Kickoff Luncheon to start the season and Breakfast to close out the year. Our team hosts the Azleway Boys Ranch for an annual practice, 7 on 7 game and devotions with a meal each season during our bye week. In the past, our team has taken part in many other community service projects, such as washing cars for our teachers and support staff as a way to show our appreciation and welcome them back to school, baking cookies for our local law enforcement, working with the Salvation Army to assemble bikes, and collecting bug spray and suntan lotion for the homeless. Our team is involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Heart of a Champion Bowl each June. We have a team devotion before every game and the Cougar football team has been in the playoffs 11 out of the past 12 years, winning one district title, 3 Bi-District titles and a Regional championship.

NEWS

CALENDAR

View Calendar
Read Bio

Tim Russell

Head Football & Track and Field Coach

Tim Russell

Head Football & Track and Field Coach

B.A., University of Houston

Coach Russell has coached football for 30 years. He lives by the words in II Timothy 4:2 which states “There is no offseason!” He is married to the former Jana Crosby and the two graduated from the University of Houston in 1991. Tim and Jana have two daughters: Bailee and Macey. Macey attends Harding University, and Bailee was killed by a drunk driver in 2016. Coach Russell enjoys the team atmosphere that each great football team possesses.

Read Bio

Chris Jones

Bible, Football & Baseball Coach

Chris Jones

Bible, Football & Baseball Coach

Coach Jones joined the Grace Community School in 2022. He has an extensive coaching career, including Allen High School, Decatur High School, and Prestwood Christian Academy. He has an undergraduate and master’s degree from the University of North Texas.

Read Bio

Kendall Fox

Physical Education, Football & Track and Field Coach

Kendall Fox

Physical Education, Football & Track and Field Coach

B.S., University of Texas, Tyler

Kendall has worked in the middle school since 2010 at Grace Community School. He has taught sixth grade P.E and coached high school baseball and football during his time at the school. Kendall has received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Tyler. He is happily married to Emily Fox and they both work with the student ministry at Grace Community Church.

Read Bio

David Garza

Football & Basketball Coach

David Garza

Football & Basketball Coach

Born and raised in San Antonio, TX Coach Garza moved to Tyler in 2011. He played football at TJC and Texas College and is in his 6th year of coaching. In his first year with Grace, he’ll be coaching varsity/middle school football, middle school basketball, and middle school golf. Coach Garza has been married to his wife Shelby for three years and has two daughters Charlotte Grace and Ellie Kye.

Read Bio

Darian “Stump” Godfrey

Football Coach

Darian “Stump” Godfrey

Football Coach

Read Bio

Chris Hemphill

Bible, Head Soccer, Football Coach, & Equity and Inclusion Coordinator

Chris Hemphill

Bible, Head Soccer, Football Coach, & Equity and Inclusion Coordinator

B.A., University of Georgia

Coach Hemphill has played soccer for twenty years, both at the high school and college level. He set the Georgia 5A state record for career goals with 115, was a First Team All-District, and District MVP selection. He played football for The University of Georgia for one year, and was a two-year starter for the Darton College Cavaliers soccer team in Albany, Georgia, earning All-Conference honors. He earned a trial for a professional team in England before retiring to pursue ministry. Coach Hemphill has coached soccer off and on for ten years. He served as an assistant coach at Lee County High School and Deerfield-Windsor School (Georgia). He currently coaches the middle school soccer teams for Grace and is an assistant coach for the boys and girls varsity teams. He also coaches a girls club team for FC Dallas in Tyler. In addition to soccer, Coach Hemphill has coached middle school and high school football at Grace Community School since 2010. He is also an online seminary student pursuing a master’s degree in Christian Apologetics.

Read Bio

Wesley Johnston

Mathematics, Football & Varsity Baseball Coach

Wesley Johnston

Mathematics, Football & Varsity Baseball Coach

M.Ed., Lamar University

Wes joined Grace Community School in 2021. He received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education math and a minor in religion from East Texas Baptist University. He later attended Lamar University, receiving a master’s degree in educational administration. Wes has eight years of experience, having served in many roles, including administration, teacher, and coach at both Gladewater High School and Brownsboro High School. Coach Johnston and his wife, Miranda, have two sons, Hudson and Knox, and a dog, Dixie. He loves to hang out with his family, coach, and ride his motorcycle.

Read Bio

Ric Radcliffe

History, Football & Track and Field Coach

Ric Radcliffe

History, Football & Track and Field Coach

B.A., Wheaton College

Ric has been teaching history at the high school level since 2012, and has been with Grace Community School since 2015. He received his bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and History/Social Sciences with an endorsement in Math from Wheaton College, where he also had the privilege to play college football. He has been married to Mrs. Radcliffe since the summer of 2013. She, too, is currently working at Grace Community School in the middle school as the eighth grade math teacher. Ric also serves as a football coach on both the varsity and junior varsity levels, as well as one of the high school track and field coaches.

Read Bio

Eddie Starkes

Football Coach

Eddie Starkes

Football Coach

Read Bio

Tobias Washington

Football Coach

Tobias Washington

Football Coach

Born and raised from Henderson, TX, I pursued my love for football at Baylor and Mary Hardin-Baylor University. Passionate about coaching football and track, I thrive on building impactful relationships with students, fostering growth both athletically and personally with mentorship and teamwork.

Read Bio

Mark Wells

Football Coach

Mark Wells

Football Coach

B.S., University of North Texas

Coach Wells grew up in Tyler playing football, baseball, basketball, and track.  He graduated from the University of North Texas with a B.S. in Criminal Justice.  After working as a U.S. Border Patrol Agent and later a U.S. Federal Air Marshal, Coach Wells returned to Tyler and married his high school sweetheart.  They have three children, Hadlee (Grace ‘15), Dylan (Grace ‘17), and Brayden (Grace ‘26).  Coach Wells and his wife, Andy, also volunteer with GSM at the Grace OJ campus.  Coach Wells began coaching middle school track in 2020 and transitioned to middle school football that same Spring.  Coach Wells is the offensive and defensive line coach for the middle school and serves as support for JV and Varsity football.

Middle School Football

2 Tim. 4:2 says, “Preach the Word. Be prepared in Season and out of season. Correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction.” We host a Mom’s Clinic each year to teach a little football and cap it off with our Mom’s praying in every part of our stadium for everyone associated with a Friday night game as well as for our opponents. We host a Father/Son Kickoff Luncheon to start the season and Breakfast to close out the year. Our team hosts the Azleway Boys Ranch for an annual practice, 7 on 7 game and devotions with a meal each season during our bye week. In the past, our team has taken part in many other community service projects, such as washing cars for our teachers and support staff as a way to show our appreciation and welcome them back to school, baking cookies for our local law enforcement, working with the Salvation Army to assemble bikes, and collecting bug spray and suntan lotion for the homeless. Our team is involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Heart of a Champion Bowl each June. We have a team devotion before every game and the Cougar football team has been in the playoffs 11 out of the past 12 years, winning one district title, 3 Bi-District titles and a Regional championship.

NEWS

CALENDAR

View Calendar
Read Bio

Wesley Johnston

Mathematics, Football & Varsity Baseball Coach

Wesley Johnston

Mathematics, Football & Varsity Baseball Coach

M.Ed., Lamar University

Wes joined Grace Community School in 2021. He received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education math and a minor in religion from East Texas Baptist University. He later attended Lamar University, receiving a master’s degree in educational administration. Wes has eight years of experience, having served in many roles, including administration, teacher, and coach at both Gladewater High School and Brownsboro High School. Coach Johnston and his wife, Miranda, have two sons, Hudson and Knox, and a dog, Dixie. He loves to hang out with his family, coach, and ride his motorcycle.

Read Bio

Chris Arriola

Head Softball Coach

Chris Arriola

Head Softball Coach

Coach Chris has been part of the Grace Athletic program since 2021 as the Head Softball Coach and will also be helping coach middle school football. He has been coaching softball for 13+ years and has been in the travel circuit for many years as well. Coach Chris has been married to his wife Jennifer for 15 years and their daughter Sadie will be attending Grace Community High School starting in the fall. Prior to starting at Grace Community, Coach Chris was enlisted in the United States Navy stationed overseas, where he also received his degree in Sports Science at the American Military University.

Read Bio

Steve Spitzer

Football & Baseball Coach

Steve Spitzer

Football & Baseball Coach

Coach Spitzer joined the GCS baseball staff in 2008. He served four years as the middle school assistant coach and head coach from 2012 to 2016. In 2017, he assumes the varsity assistant coaching position. Time flies when you’re having fun! Coach Spitzer graduated from Baylor Law School. He and his wife, Trish, have four sons:  Jacob (GCS Class of 2013), Jonny (Class of 2015), Josh (Class of 2017), and Joseph (Class of 2020). The family attends Grace Community Church.