Kanipes accepts new position with Santa Fe

PEARLAND — Pearland defensive coordinator Mark Kanipes has been at Pearland during the early stages of the rebuilding time of the football team while also enjoying the fruit of his labor when the Oilers became a state powerhouse including a 2010 Class 5A state championship and a run to the 2013 state 5A championship finals.

Kanpies was here at Pearland in 1998 during head coach Tony Heath's second year, left, and then returned in 2005 until he recently accepted an offer to become the new Athletic Director/Head football coach at Santa Fe High School. He had coaching stops at Plano West, La Porte and Aldine MacArthur before returning to Pearland.

Kanipes  graduated from Angleton HS and earned his B.S. degree in Education from Stephen F. Austin State University. He was inducted into the Angleton High School Hall of Fame a few years ago. He has been coaching for 28 years.

He is married to wife, Holly, who is a teacher at Pearland ISD. The couple have three children, Myles, age 20, Zach, age 17, and Paige, age 13. Kanipes enjoys surfing, boating, fishing, home improvements, and working out.

The veteran coach saw his Pearland defense set a new PHS record with 34 pass interceptions during the 2013 season which also led the state in any class in that category.

The elder Kanipes saw both his sons play for the Oilers as Myles was on the state championship team while Zach was on this past year's squad. Both played for a state championship with Myles being the one to get a state championship ring.

Myles played on both sides of the ball and received an honor that no Pearland player has ever achieved. Kanipes was named Texas Sports Writers Association All-State third-team on offense as a wide-receiver after he led the Oilers in receiving with 48 catches for 1,008 yards and 10 touchdowns. He finished his career with 82 catches for 1,546 yards and 17 TDs - second most in PHS history.

Myles also was named to the TSWA All-State third-team on defense. He was named All-District first-team on offense and defense as well. No Pearland player has ever been named to the TSWA All-State offensive and defensive teams at the same time.

Myles proved his versatility as he had two interceptions in the playoffs. He returned one for a 46-yard touchdown against Beaumont West Brook and another 75-yards for a TD against Cy-Creek. He also scored on a 71-yard catch and run against Katy as well as a couple of other TDs on offense in the playoffs. His play helped inspire the defense to totally dominate throughout the state title run.

Senior Zach Kanipes was named as an All-State defensive back honorable mention even though he suffered a knee injury in the middle of the season. From his defensive position, Kanipes had one assisted stop, nine unassisted tackles, four pass break-ups, one tackle for loss, six interceptions, and two touchdowns.

Santa Fe has only made the football playoffs twice in school history. Kanipes is inheriting a team that is 19-40 over the past six years. The 2010 team finished 7-3, but was 3-3 in district and didn't make the post-season. The 2009 squad finished 6-5 with a first-round loss in the playoffs.

Last season, the Indians were 2-8 and 0-10 in 2012 so Kanipes has his work cut out for him.

"I am really excited about this opportunity," Kanipes said. "We have a great challenge in front of us, but I have been in a similar position while at Pearland. Hopefully we can bring a new tradition at Santa Fe."