Norman takes helm of Dobie football program


PEARLAND — Life is full of decisions. Some of those decisions cause us to make major changes from our comfort zone. It is always easier to stay where we are settled in, especially after over two decades.

Pearland Oilers football offensive coordinator Mike Norman recently faced one of those major decisions.

The winsome veteran coach had been entrenched in Pearland football folklore for 21 years. He has seen Pearland football at the bottom if the valley and at the top of the mountain.

Norman began his career at the freshman level, moved up to the junior varsity level, and then to the varsity where he was eventually promoted as the offensive coordinator by Pearland head coach Tony Heath.

When a team experiences the major turnaround that the Oilers have experienced over the past 15 years, it is it is not surprising when other schools start trying to recruit the head coach and the coaching staff to their school.

Heath has had his opportunities to leave Pearland, but he has seen the benefit of staying in one place and building a championship program that sets the standard for other schools.

He has also surrounded himself with dedicated coaches who know football and how to build a winning team each year.

Norman was already coaching at Pearland when Heath arrived in 1997. Heath saw the value of Norman each year as the football program was developing a winning attitude.

Norman was the quarterbacks coach on Pearland’s 2010 state championship team and served as the Oilers’ OC two years ago when the Oilers advanced to the Class 6A Division I state title game against national champion Allen.

Norman’s plan is to employ some of the same strategies at Dobie that worked so well at Pearland.

So it isn't surprising that Norman looks to Heath as one of his mentors though they were both young in age and experience with they first joined hands together to build a football powerhouse in the state of Texas.

Norman has now made a major change in his life after accepting an offer to become the new head football coach for the Pasadena Dobie Longhorns.

Pearland and Dobie are district rivals and for the first time in Norman's career, he will be pitted on the opposite side of Heath and the Oilers this fall.

Norman has been on the job a few weeks and he has already begun to assess the overall Dobie football team. "The players have been really receptive to our new expectations," Norman said. "We started to teach them discipline and accountability from day one. We are showing them the little things like wearing your ID tag, dress code, shaving, etc.

"If they can't do the little things, then how can I trust them to do the right thing on the football field?"

Norman is still accessing the coaching staff, but he did bring in two critical coaches, one in which he is quite familiar.

Former Pearland All-State running back Anthony Evans is the new offensive coordinator. Evans has always been one of the key players that helped turnaround the Oilers fortunes on the field.

Evans continued his playing career at the University of Houston. He began his coaching career at Texas City, became the OC at the new Clear Springs High School, and now he joins his former coach to help the Longhorns become a success.

Norman also reeled in Donald Randall from Summer Creek High School as his defensive coordinator.

“There are definitely athletes at Dobie, and the facilities are in good shape," Norman said. "They may be in for a little surprise in the way things will be done, but it will all be for the good.”

Heath has no doubts that Norman can improve Dobie’s respected program.

“He’s definitely ready,” Heath said. “Mike’s been my right hand man for quite a while, and I know he has goals over there. I’m glad Dobie is giving him the opportunity.

“He’ll be the first to tell you it’s not about him. I’m very excited for him and his family. Dobie is a premier school in the Pasadena district, and in the Greater Houston area.”

Dobie posted a 6-5 record in 2014 and finished third in District 22-6A before being eliminated by Galena Park North Shore in the playoffs.

"Dobie should have won the game against North Shore," Norman said with a grin. "They just need to build up their confidence that they can play the full 48 minutes and not make mistakes."

This is one of the main things that coach Heath has preached that Norman will take with him to Dobie.

"Coach Heath taught us to have a plan," Norman said. "It is more than X's and O's. We need to build integrity, honesty, caring for one another, and building relationships."

One of the key ingredients to Norman's life is his Christian faith.

"I’m a firm believer that God has a plan for everything, and this was part of His plan,” Norman said. “Tony helped me grow tremendously. He’s a great mentor, a great friend, and taught me so much about the game of football and the game of life.”

Norman is the sixth coach under Heath to acquire a head coaching job. The others are Eric Wells (Dawson), Mark Kanipes (Santa Fe), Jason Glenn (Houston Chavez), Mike Allison (Clear Brook) and Jared Sloan (Hardin-Jefferson).

One other side of coach Norman is his involvement in his summer ministry in Croatia.

For the past several years, Norman has gone to this small country to hold football camps, share Christ with the kids, participate in Bible studies, and just have an overall positive impact in the lives of young children.

If you would like to contribute to help Norman go on the trip this year, you can go to www.hisprint.org and make a love gift in Norman's name.

Norman, 48, has been married to his wife, Lisa, for 24 years. They have three children Zachary, 20; Makalah, a junior at Pearland High School; and Noah, 11.

Norman is a native of Houston. He received his B.S degree in Kinesiology and Biology from the University of Houston.