Legendary Texas high school football coach Sonny Detmer passes away at 76

sonny detmerPhoto from Somerset ISD on Facebook
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Hebert “Sonny” Detmer, who is considered one of the early proponents of football’s wide-open passing game, is dead at the age of 76. Detmer, who is the father of former NFL quarterbacks Ty and Koy Detmer, passed away on Tuesday.

The elder Detmer spent over three decades as a high school football coach in the Lone Star State. He amassed a lifetime record of 235-141-2 with three stops at Somerset, plus head coaching jobs at Mission and Southwest. Detmer was sitting-out this season as Somerset’s head coach during the coronavirus pandemic.

Detmer and his sons amassed offensive production numbers that re-wrote Texas high school football passing records.

Before Ty headed to Brigham Young University to win a Heisman Trophy, he and his dad made Southwest High, the football team to see in-person in the mid-80’s. Sonny inserted his son into the role of starting quarterback during Ty’s sophomore year in 1984.

Ty Detmer left his San Antonio-area high school with more than 8,000 passing yards with 71 touchdowns. According to media reports, Ty left high school ranked No. 4 in the all-time passing yardage list.

To put Ty’s numbers in perspective, his 8,005 career yards don’t even put him in the Top 100 in career high school passing yardage in 2020.

Sun, Oct 12, 1986 – Page 17 · The Kerrville Times (Kerrville, Texas) · Newspapers.com

Then came Koy’s career at Mission High where he broke Ty’s state records. Koy left high school with 8,221 yards passing with 82 touchdowns. In his final high school game, Koy completed a then national record 44 passes in a game. Koy Detmer is still tied for 12th on the all-time list in that category.

Sun, Dec 15, 1991 – 59 · The Monitor (McAllen, Texas) · Newspapers.com

Both Ty and Koy have spent time in the family business of coaching after their NFL careers. In 2009, Ty was named the head football coach at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School before going to BYU to become an offensive coordinator. Koy is in his fifth season as the head coach at Mission, his alma mater.

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.