Joey Florence, Athletic Director
Joey Florence is widely regarded as one of the best to ever coach high school football in the state of Texas. He is a two-time state championship-winning football coach and was inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame in 2020. He has served the students of Denton ISD as the director of athletics since 2014.
Under his leadership, Denton ISD Athletics has experienced unprecedented growth and success in all athletic programs with students competing in 18 high school and eight middle school sports. Since 2019, the district has boasted state champion athletes in cross country, track and field and football. Other sports advancing deep into the playoffs during that time have included volleyball, swimming, and both boys’ and girls’ basketball.
The growth in participation in athletics programs district-wide under Mr. Florence has compelled him to focus on ways the district can continue to protect the safety and well-being of all of its student-athletes. While all injuries are critical and taken seriously, concussions have increasingly become the subject of much research and discussion in the medical field and sports science. The Denton ISD Athletic Department has been at the forefront in recording, preventing, diagnosing and treating concussions.
Under Mr. Florence’s leadership, Denton ISD collaborates with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s Texas Institute for Brain Injury and Repair (TIBIR) to create an easy-to-use app for schools to report and track concussions. This project is called ConTex. The ConTex app allows University Interscholastic League (UIL) schools to capture and track basic information on concussions. This tracking mechanism then allows the UIL and TIBIR researchers to gain a better understanding of the frequency of this injury across the state. Since the use of the ConTex app, the district has seen concussions trend downward from its highest reported concussion total of 62 in 2018-2019.
During his time as head coach and campus athletic coordinator at Ryan High School, Mr. Florence worked with campus administrators to establish a sense of pride in students participating in academics, athletics, fine arts, and other extracurricular activities. The culture spawned the motto “Home of Champions” for Ryan High students and graduates that still stands today.
Mr. Florence graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1989. He served as an assistant coach at Sulphur Springs High School and Marcus High School before becoming one of the youngest head coaches in the state when he was named head coach at Cooper High School in 1994 at age 28.
As a head coach, Mr. Florence was named District Coach of the Year ten times, State Coach of the Year twice and coached the national Under Armor All-America Game in 2012. He received the UIL Excellence Award in 2006 and served on the Texas High School Coaches Board of Directors from 2006 to 2009.
His wife, DeeDee, is a retired Denton ISD educator and they have two adult daughters who are proud graduates of Denton ISD schools.