Jason Witten is used to doing big things in Texas. The former Dallas Cowboys tight end is continuing his success on the gridiron in the Lone Star State as the head coach of Liberty Christian (Argyle)
The school is just thirty minutes away from where Witten used to catch touchdowns. Now he leads an 11-0 squad preparing for the TAPPS Division II quarterfinals on Saturday.
Jason is in his third year leading the program after a 17-year career with the Dallas Cowboys and Las Vegas Raiders. Liberty Christian went 2-8 in his first season and improved to 10-2 with a trip to the playoffs in 2022 that ended in the quarterfinals.
This season two of his players are his sons and key cogs on the defense, C.J.
and Cooper Witten
C.J. is a junior who leads the team in both tackles and sacks. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound linebacker has a knack of finding the football and leads the team in tackles. Just like his pops, who had nine sacks as a senior in high school, C.J. leads the Warriors with five sacks on the season.
Younger brother Cooper is also a major contributor. He is third on the team in tackles, has two interceptions, two forced fumbles and is a wizard on special teams. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound freshman has blocked three field goals.
Jason was recruited as a defensive end while playing in high school at Elizabethton (Tenn.)
, where grandfather Dave Rider was his head coach.
After his playing career, Witten followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and brother and became a high school head coach. Rider won 246 games in Virginia and Tennessee. Brother Shawn, who caught passes from Michael Vick at Virginia Tech before becoming the head coach at Elizabethton, has 163 career wins and two state titles at his alma mater. Eldest brother Ryan is the head coach of the Milligan University women's flag football team.
Aside from his sons, Witten has some serious talent to work with at Liberty Christian.
Wide receivers Brady Janusek
and Quinton Brown
combined for nearly 1,500 receiving yards as sophomores in 2022. Now juniors, the duo has hauled in 21 touchdowns with another junior Jaylon Hawkins
adding 10 more.
Janusek is committed to Oklahoma for baseball while Brown has received offers from Colorado State and Toledo.
Junior running back Chase Garnett
has raced for 1,365 yards and 22 touchdowns on the ground. Texas-San Antonio has offered.
Coach Witten caught passes from Drew Bledsoe, Tony Romo and Derek Carr in the NFL and now he coaches a gunslinger in 6-6 senior Cole Welliver
, a UConn pledge. Welliver has completed just over 70 percent of his attempts this year with 39 touchdowns.
The Warriors will play Grace Community tomorrow with a trip to the semifinals at stake. A win would also be the 12th of the season, the most for Liberty Christian since 2007.