New football manager Cunningham admired MCS from afar

Chris Cunningham always admired how hard the Midland Christian football team played and how much effort they put into every game while he was on the opposite touchline.

Cunningham will see that toughness first hand in the fall when the former head football coach and Plano Prestonwood athletic director takes over the Mustang program.

Cunningham was announced as MCS’ new head football coach and sporting director on Tuesday, bringing with him an impeccable record and reputation. During his 15 years with the Lions, he led them to a record 129-44 and four state titles.

He will take over a program that went 10-3 and made it to the TAPPS Division I State Championship Game under Greg McClendon last year.

“This is a tremendous blessing for me,” Cunningham said on Wednesday. “I’m so excited to be a part of Midland Christian School and to be a Mustang. They have a great tradition there and a great community. I am happy to be a part of it.”

Cunningham said that coming to MCS wasn’t something he dreamed of a month ago, instead he believes God guided him to this opportunity.

“I’ve never lived in Midland, but I did have a great four years in San Angelo at Angelo State University, where I met my wife,” said Cunningham, a DeSoto High School graduate student. “We thought we’d be returning to West Texas when we first came to Grapevine, little did we know it would be 37 years later.

“It’s a great opportunity to get into a program that’s set up right. It is a place where the school values ​​the educational part of athletics and the role it plays in the lives of student athletes.”

Cunningham said he was an undersized defensive end while playing at Angelo State and graduated with degrees in math and English.

He said it was not easy to leave a place where he had spent so much time and found success, but added that he and his family had prayed much and were comfortable with the decision.

“I feel like we’re called to it, like I was called to coaching 37 years ago,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate to have had great experiences in every place we’ve ever been – Grapevine, Colleyville Heritage and Prestonwood – and I have no doubt it will be the same at Midland Christian for as long as God wills us there.” “

He will no doubt inherit a successful program which will also be relegated from Division I to Division II which has more schools of a similar size to Midland Christian’s.

And from what Cunningham has seen from previous meetings against the Mustangs, he knows that playing hard is something that’s been ingrained in them for years.

“It’s not just about how hard these kids played football, it’s how hard they played,” he said.
“That appealed to me. That doesn’t happen overnight.”

Cunningham said he ran a spread offensive but also adjusted to staff using tight ends at times. He’s also had 2,000-yard rushers in the past, adding that leading the football will be important. Defensively, Cunningham wants an offensive and aggressive style with all 11 players running to the football.

“Overall, my philosophy is to impact a young man’s life as a coach, and hopefully in a life-changing way, by instilling in him a quality that goes well beyond football,” he said. “I want to build teams and players whose aspirations are higher than just winning. I love to win and I hate to lose but I don’t want our standards to stop there. I want our teams to be as good as possible. That’s how you win championships. We want to continue to do this the right way and in a way that everyone can be proud of.”

Follow Oscar on Twitter: @OLeRoy_MRT

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