The Woodlands Christian Academy Magazine: Next Man Up!
But there is confidence that McClanahan, who joined TWCA in the summer of 2020 as defensive coordinator, is the right man for the job, and it starts with his impressive resume.
This year is McClanahan's 21st in coaching, and while TWCA is his first head coaching gig, he has experience in a plethora of roles at many schools for distinguished coaches.
McClanahan started at Fort Bend Hightower as an assistant, then helped open Seven Lakes with the late Kevin O'Keefe, then to Alvin with Trey Herrmann before going back to Hightower as the offensive coordinator and helping the Hurricanes win three district titles.
McClanahan got out of coaching for a few years before returning to the sidelines at Lamar for a season.
Then, finally, Randy Hollas recruited him to TWCA, where McClanahan captained the defense, engineering a switch to a 3-4 base from a 4-3, and ultimately chosen as Hollas' successor as he moved into full-time athletic director.
"It has been a unique experience," McClanahan said. "It has been incredible."
And though he has only had an offseason as the man in charge for the first time, McClanahan is prepared.
Well, kind of.
"For the most part, it's been what I expected," McClanahan said. "But there are kind of two sides to that coin. The admin and coordinator experience I had prepared me for the football organization and structure of practices and staffing.
Specific activities, banquets. But it's been a positive learning curve going from a (UIL) 6A school (Lamar) to what amounts to a 2A school."
McClanahan said TWCA is similar to how it was at Seven Lakes and Tays Junior High. Parents are heavily involved and the focus on athletics is significant.
Also, because of the intimate environment a small school offers there is more opportunity to develop relationships with each kid, not only in football but other sports as well.
The offseason has been successful in McClanahan re-teaching some of the fundamentals and skills at each defensive position, as well as players and coaches understanding why they are being asked to do things in a different manner.
McClanahan will have talent in 2021. The cupboard is far from bare and it helps that the program's numbers have grown. TWCA had 37 kids in the program going into the 2020 football season. As of late April, the program had 59.
McClanahan credited coaches who care about kids and understand the importance of supporting multi-sport athletes, current players recruiting others because of the positive experience they are enjoying, and winning.
"I believe that word is spreading about the overall positive experience in football at TWCA, and I am thankful to our student-athletes, families, and school community, who are our biggest supporters," McClanahan said.