Offensive line coach, offensive coordinator depart; replacements selected for Indians

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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PORT NECHES — The reigning 5A state champion Port Neches-Groves football team is going to have a bit of a different look on the offensive staff as the Indians enter the summer portion of their offseason program with the departure of their offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.

Head Coach Jeff Joseph has already filled both positions.

Cade McCrary, who was the offensive coordinator for the Indians for the past two seasons, decided to leave coaching altogether and moved back to Austin, he told Port Arthur Newsmedia.

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Offensive line coach Charlie Feller accepted the offensive line coach position at 6A powerhouse Duncanville.

Joseph said McCrary and Feller played intricate roles on the program’s back-to-back state championship appearances and title last year.

The Port Neches-Groves Indians get in some line practice during the 2023 playoff run during this November practice. AJ Roland is now overseeing the offensive line. (Chris Moore/The News)

“They were both big parts of everything we did,” Joseph said. “Coach Feller really was the guy that did most of the stuff with our run game and run gameplan, which was a big part of our offense. We will miss both of those guys and everything they did for us. Definitely have some big shoes to fill.”

Former PNG coach Brandon Faircloth hired Feller in 2020 out of C.E. King.

Joseph brought on McCrary from Southlake Carroll when the head coach was hired in 2022.

Both coaches put on impressive showings over the past two seasons in particular. Feller led one of the state’s most feared run games behind arguably the state’s most dominant offensive line.

McCrary led an offense that had to make a change in 2023 after then-starting quarterback Shea Adams went down prior to district play, forcing him miss the regular season. The PNG offense leaned on sophomore quarterback Connor Bailey to run the offense. The offensive staff came up with creative ways to utilize both players during the playoff run, as Adams returned for the playoffs in a limited capacity.

Collin Gizzi has been promoted to offensive coordinator after spending the past two seasons as the quarterbacks coach.

“We wanted to build up what we have been doing,” Joseph said. “Coach Gizzi is going to keep things moving in that same direction and building on the same things we have had success with.”

Joseph hired Sachse High School offensive line coach and run game coordinator AJ Roland to fill the same position in Port Neches.

Sachse finished the season 8-3 last year and 8-0 in district play.

“He has been great,” Joseph said. “He and his wife have already moved down here. He has gotten to know our kids and has been with us through spring football. It has been nice to have him in here and getting him familiar with the way we do things and with our players.”

PNG is currently in the strength-and-conditioning portion of its offseason program. Joseph said he is looking forward to seeing how his group competes in 7-on-7 games over the summer.

“Work never stops around high school football these days,” he said.