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Buc built a dynasty instead of buildings

Inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame


Had Tim Buchanan followed his original dream, some folks might be working and/or living in some buildings he designed.

Instead, he became a football coach and built the most successful football program in the state of Texas.

Buchanan, or Buc as those who know him call him, noted that when he first arrived in college his goal was to be an architect and to play college football. However, upon learning his playing days were over, it was suggested he become a football coach.

Buc responded that coaches don't make much money, to which he was told, "the good coaches make a heck of a lot more than a bad architect."

That comment drew a laugh from the crowd at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame as Buc was onstage delivering his acceptance speech as one of t Steve SlateFormer Aledo Bearcats football coach Tim Buchanan addresses the crowd during his induction into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 18 in Waco. he 2024 inductees into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame.

Also inducted on Saturday, May 18, were:

  • Former Odessa Permian football coach John Wilkins, who led the Panthers to state titles in 1980 and 1984 (co-champs with Beaumont French) and two runner-up finishes.
  • 1969 & Before — Riley Odoms, Corpus Christi West Oso High School, who later played tight end for the Denver Broncos.
  • 1980s — Brent Duhon, Port Arthur Jefferson High School, who went on to play receiver for the University of Texas.
  • 1990s — Cory Redding, Houston North Shore High School. He later played for SMU, followed by a 13-season NFL career.
  • 2000s — The late Cedric Benson, Midland Lee High School, represented by his brother, DeOndrick Long. Benson led Midland Lee to three straight state championships from 1998-2000, followed by a standout career as a running back for the University of Texas and eight seasons in the NFL.
  • Dave Campbell Contributor to the Game — Robert Lee Brown, Prairie View Interscholastic League Hall of Honor Chairman. A driving force in preserving the legacy of the PVIL, which paved the way for the current generation of African American players and coaches.

Also handed out Saturday night were the Tom Landy Award, which went to Highland Park head coach Randy Allen, especially notable this year because, like the legendary former Dallas Cowboys coach, Allen is known for wearing a fedora. The Gordon Wood Award went to the Oglesby Tigers six-man football team for displaying good sportsmanship, overcoming challenges, and having the support of its community. The award is named after the coach who won nine state championships in his career at Stamford and Brownwood.

Thanking many

Buchanan joked that this was the first time since college he was asked to write a speech about something other than football and coaching.

"And I made a D on that speech," he said with a chuckle as the crowd joined in laughing.

He thanked his family, most notably his wife Rebecca, and their children Caleb and Madeline, along with Caleb's newlywed bride Allison.

Upon meeting Rebecca when he worked in College Station for A&M Consolidated, he said, "She dropped me like a hot potato. I finally got her to go out with me and we have two great kids and been married 35 years."

Among others Buchanan thanked were former Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram sports columnist Randy Galloway, who moved to Aledo several years ago and became friends with Buc. Galloway went into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the media a couple years ago.

"It's always good to have a media guy in your corner," Buchanan said, calling Galloway his "media advisor."

He also humbly credited much of his success to high school football players, parents, administration and, of course, great assistant coaches.

"Very little of this has to do with one person. It's a 'we' profession," Buchanan said, adding that being inducted into the hall is the "ultimate honor a football player and a football coach in the state of Texas can be a part of."

In the press conference prior to the ceremony, Buchanan said, "I sit back and say I can't believe I was a part of that."

Building a dynasty

While we will never know what kind of architect Buchan would have been, the football dynasty he built at Aledo is renowned. He arrived there in 1993 and five years later the Bearcats won the first of what is now a dozen state championships in 1998.

That was followed by state titles from 2009-11 with one of the greatest high school running backs in U.S. history, Jonathan Gray, himself a THSHOF inductee in 2018. In 2013, Buchanan coached the only team at any level to score more than 1,000 points in a season with an offense led by current Aledo head coach Robby Jones as its coordinator.

Jones, in his debut season of 2023, coached the Bearcats to a 16-0 season and another championship. He was on hand Saturday to receive a watch commemorating that accomplishment.

After leaving the sidelines for five seasons to focus on strictly being athletic director, Buchan returned to coach the Bearcats to three more state championships in 2019, 2020 and 2022 before retiring.

And during his time as only being athletic director, the Bearcats won state titles in 2014, 2016 and 2018 under Steve Wood, who was 75-4 in that time. 

Buchanan posted an overall record of 281-58-3. His teams excelled most in the postseason, where they were 81-14 and he is one of only three Texas high school football coaches to win state championships in four decades.

To this day, Aledo has won at least one playoff game every year since 1996.

Group effort

Buchanan said the Aledo community is made up of overachievers, even Gray, who rushed for 10,889 yards and 205 touchdowns as a Bearcat.

"Jonathan was one of the most talented football players I've ever seen, but he wanted to be better," Buchanan said. "From one act play to band, in everything, they all want to be better."

And, as records show, more often than not they are.

Buchanan said in Aledo success is built on success.

"We put it on the senior class every year," he said. "They have to work harder than the year before. Everybody is gonna remember them from what they did their senior year."

The early years

Before coming to Aledo in 1993, Buchanan enjoyed great success as an assistant coach at several stops, including being part of a state championship at A&M Consolidated.

When he arrived in Aledo, Buchanan had never been a head coach before. He was the sixth coach in five years at the school.

His first season was the only losing season of his career as the Bearcats finished 2-8. From there, however, the seeds of a powerhouse began.

"Odds are I wasn't staying that long," he said. "I said I was gonna stay two years. No one had done that in quite a while.

"My goal was to make it a better school district, better in all sports."

Lots of memories

Of course, Buchanan was asked which of his state championship teams was his favorite. 

"They're all unique in their own way," he said, noting that the 2013 squad has a special place in his heart because Caleb was a senior that season..

"But each team had something special," he said.

He did admit that, if pressed, the 1998 squad - the one that broke the proverbial championship ice as the first football state champion ever in Aledo and only the second state champion in school history (boys golf won in 1978) - might be his favorite. The team was not expected to even get out of district, having lost three coaches around 20 players, he noted.

It was also memorable for another reason, Buchanan said.

"It got my hair cut," he said with a smile, reminiscing about making a promise that if they won state they could cut his hair on the floor of the Astrodome.

"And they did!" he exclaimed.

These days Buc has a full head of hair, much like the Aledo trophy case is full of trophies.


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