The Stafford Municipal School District Board of Trustees chose the path of successful athletic continuity when it voted to name Ken Savanah as athletic director and head football coach during a special meeting recently.
“We are delighted to have coach Ken Savanah take our athletic department to the next level,” Stafford MSD Superintendent Dr. Robert Bostic said. “Coach Savanah is a natural leader who challenges his athletes to perform to the best of their abilities on the field, and more importantly, in the classroom. His contributions played a large role in the football team’s historic season last fall.”
Stafford MSD Board of Trustees President Auturo Jackson said Dr. Bostic’s recommendations to hire Savanah and add an assistant athletic director were excellent decisions.
“We are very excited about Ken Savanah being named our new athletic director and head football coach,” Jackson said. “He has been instrumental in helping elevate our athletic program while nurturing and developing our student athletes. Dr. Bostic’s recommendation challenged our board. SMSD is clearly committed to meeting the academic, artistic, and athletic needs of our students.”
Savanah served as assistant head coach/defensive coordinator during the Ron Counter years from 2013-16. The Spartans had their best record in school history during that span, going 38-12 with six postseason victories. Savanah has been serving as the interim athletic director and football coach since Counter departed for another job in February. Last season, the Spartans reached the state quarterfinals for the first time in program history. Last fall, Stafford’s defense, under Savanah’s direction, allowed just 13.7 points per game, including seven games where opponents scored one touchdown or less.
“Stafford has a very strong athletic program,” Savanah said. “Our community support is very high. We have a chance to be very successful. The kids really believe in what we’re teaching them.”
Savanah plans to keep the current staff intact, and he may add more coaches – both for football and a variety of other sports. He doesn’t expect wholesale changes on the field, although the Spartans may utilize the tight end in the passing game more.
Savanah said he will continue to call the defense, but at some point, he will ease another coach into the defensive coordinator role.
A native of Houston, Savanah graduated from Booker T. Washington High. He played defensive end and inside linebacker at Sam Houston State and Texas Southern, graduating from TSU in 1985.
Incidentally, his first job out of college was in Stafford. He worked in the advertising department for a Stafford valve company from 1985-94, while playing minor league professional football in the United States and abroad.
In 1994, he served as a volunteer coach under Oscar Cripps at Stratford High in Spring Branch ISD. The following year, Savanah joined the football staff at Strake Jesuit in Houston, where he worked from 1995-2012. Savanah has coached with Counter for 16 of the past 17 seasons, and likely would have had an opportunity to become the defensive coordinator under Counter at 6A Katy Morton Ranch. He chose to stay at Stafford and lead the program, because he values its current and future potential.
Savanah said he is blessed to be able to coach his son, Stafford sophomore linebacker Ken Savanah Jr. ¬– something he did for the first time last season. He’ll have two more seasons to coach Ken Jr.
Graduating nearly 30 seniors, Savanah knows next year’s team will be young when it hosts Houston North Forest to open the 2017 season, but he said there is potential for another strong season.
Savanah was an assistant boys basketball coach this season for a team that reached the regional quarterfinals. He said he’ll miss coaching basketball, but he is excited about the opportunity to positively impact the entire athletic department.