Lone Star, Heritage showdown pins coach versus son

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Heritage head football coach Kenneth Gilchrist (left) and his son, Brett Gilchrist (right)

Heritage head football coach Kenneth Gilchrist (left) and his son, Brett Gilchrist (right), squared off against each other on opposite sidelines for the first time ever.

Frisco Lone Star varsity assistant football coach Brett Gilchrist changed his Hudl login information this week for the first time in his brief coaching career, which dates back to June.

The 23-year-old Gilchrist didn’t forget his password or anything like that — Lone Star head coach Jeff Rayburn just felt like that was the best move for his Rangers, ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 5A Division I, to remain unbeaten heading to the postseason.

Instead of “Brett Gilchrist” being his name on the site that helps coaches and athletes share and review footage from past games, he is temporarily “Brett Gilburn” until Friday.

That’s because Lone Star’s last opponent before the postseason just so happens to be Frisco Heritage, which has a familiar face that knows Brett extremely well. The man calling the shots at Heritage is his father.

Kenneth Gilchrist is in his second season as the Coyotes’ head coach and throughout his illustrious career, which includes a state title as an assistant in 2007 at Lake Travis and even coaching Brett for four seasons while at the helm at Whitney, he now must coach against him for the first ever.

“He’s been on my sideline for a long time, so it will be weird, but this week is still no different for us,” Kenneth said. “We’re a joking family, and Rayburn and I have a great relationship. We’re able to keep the business part of the game separate from all of it. We have been joking pretty much all week about Brett changing his passwords on Hudl and even about dropping him from my cell phone account.”

Gilchrist and Rayburn’s relationship dates all the way back to their time together over a decade ago at Duncanville.

Over the years, the two have maintained a strong professional relationship, and since the Heritage head coach was not allowed to hire Brett on his staff due to a rule within Frisco ISD regarding nepotism, he knew his son would be in the right hands if given the opportunity with the Rangers.

In June, Brett landed an interview with Stafford Middle School, a program that feeds into Lone Star. He got the job soon after and took on a role with the Lone Star staff as well.

“I couldn’t ask for a better guy to mentor Brett,” Kenneth said. “He has a great group over there and it’s all about learning from coaches who do it the right way. I also didn’t want him to work for me right off the bat anyway. He knows our system forward and backward and he needed to learn from other coaches who do it really well.”

That has translated into a plethora of wins on the scoreboard and Brett knows he landed in a near-perfect spot to start fresh out of graduating college from Tarleton State just this past May.

“If my dad trusts [Rayburn] then I know I can, too,” he said. “It’s a great group of guys and I know [offensive coordinator Mark] Humble is the best in the state. Meeting with him for just five minutes, I knew I was going to learn more with him offensively, and I try to soak up everything I can from them and just try to add it to my toolbox.”

Brett isn’t the only family member having to make alterations this week, as Kenneth implemented a few changes over the past few weeks in preparation for Lone Star – and Brett.

While excelling at the quarterback position at Whitney, Brett and the Wildcats never huddled up before plays and Kenneth has carried his no-huddle offense over to Heritage.

However, over the past month, he and his team has begun practicing huddling instead of reading plays from the sideline due to the simple fact that Brett will know each and every single hand signal Kenneth and his staff feed off on the other side.

But regardless of what happens this week between the two FISD programs, the Gilchrist family will undoubtedly make the most of the experience, as both the Coyotes’ future and Brett’s career look to take off.

“We’re going to enjoy the moment before it starts and get a few pictures in,” Kenneth said. “But once it starts, it’s going to be all business.”

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