Lake Travis High School in Austin is truly a Texas powerhouse. They are the only five-time consecutive state champion with titles from 2007-2011. They have won their last two championships under the direction of Head Coach Hank Carter. In 2008 and 2009, Carter was the Defensive Coordinator as Lake Travis went 32-0. Their five-year overall record – 2007-2011 – is 77-3.
The Lake Travis Cavaliers – believe it or not – went 50-110-2 in the 15-year period from 1988-2003. In 2001-2002, LT had a 1-29 record. But things began to turn around under the direction of Coach Jeff Dicus, now the head Coach at Duncanville High School. Dicus instilled discipline and positive reinforcement and the culture changed. Dicus was succeeded by Chad Morris who helped bring LT state titles in 2007, ‘08, and ‘09. Morris then became the offensive coordinator at Clemson and the title of head coach was passed on to Hank Carter.
Carter first coached at Eustace High School in 1999, his alma mater. He then coached at Bay City High School and was the Defensive Coordinator at Stephensville (2003-2007 before taking a similar position at Lake Travis. The school has over 300 players currently involved in the program and has just been reclassified as 5A school (from 4A).
Carter runs an up-tempo offense and is a strong believer in conditioning. “We want our practices to flow and bounce from place to place,” he said. “We want to keep the tempo quick offensively and defensively and always want the kids to be moving. Running to the football, running back to the line of scrimmage and getting lined-up and the ball snapped. That’s how we get our conditioning.”
Lake Travis has had a great run of quarterbacks including former Kansas star Todd Reesing and former SMU signal-caller Garrett Gilbert. Having outstanding quarterbacks is not a coincidence at Lake Travis. It’s part of a quarterback plan that Dicus implemented and Morris and Carter continued. From the second and third grades on, quarterbacks become involved in running the same system and same plays.
“Our passing game is the same system you’ll see at Oklahoma State or Texas Tech,” said Carter. I think our ability to develop quarterbacks and throw the ball has been a major reason for our success.”