Chism Honors Mentor With “The Longhorn Way”

Coach Corey Chism CHISD
Coach Chism Photo Credit CHISD

(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) Corey Chism was on stage at the Cedar Hill ISD 2023-2024 Convocation on August 10, tasked with announcing the winners of the CHISD Attendance Incentive Awards.

The district presented a total of $37,500 to 20 employees who achieved Perfect Attendance in 2022-2023. Five employees received $3,000, and 15 received $1,500.

When Chism’s name came up on the card he was supposed to announce, he was too bashful to say it. But everyone in the audience knew that Chism had once again received this honor.

The Cedar Hill High School head boys basketball coach and 2001 CHHS Graduate was one of five CHISD Employees to receive the $3,000, along with CHHS colleague Ricardo Malbrew, Treina Dabney of Plummer, Lissette Guardiola of Collegiate Academy and Helen Leffall, who taught at Bray Elementary.

For Chism, 40, there’s nothing extraordinary about coming to work every day.

“I respect hard workers,” Chism said. “There are millions of people more talented than me, but I don’t want to be outworked.”

Chism’s last day away from CHHS was a decade ago, when his son was born. His son, Corben, is now a fifth grade at High Pointe Elementary – where Chism himself began his CHISD journey in the late 1980s.

Chism believes he was destined to become a coach.

His late father, Michael Chism Sr., ran track at Hillsdale College in Michigan and coached football and track in Dallas ISD for many years. His mother, Angela Chism, is a member of the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame for her track & field achievements at Prairie View A&M University. Michael Sr. and Angela met at a track meet.

The Chism Family settled in Cedar Hill where he attended High Pointe but was then part of the first group of scholars to attend Waterford Oaks Elementary when it opened. He still remembers the impact that WOE’s first principal, Holly Teague, and his third grade teacher, JoLynn Maddox, had on him.

Three years later, Maddox was Chism’s History Teacher at Permenter Middle School.

When Chism arrived at Cedar Hill High in the summer of 1997, the school was better known for basketball than football. That could be attributed to the success of the late Cedar Hill head boys basketball coach David Milson.

Chism is the first to admit he wasn’t a star in high school. He balanced hoops with a part-time job at Kmart (where the Burlington store is currently located). As a senior in 2000-2001, he was a teammate of Daniel and Jason Horton, who played at Michigan and Missouri, respectively.

“The Hortons put Cedar Hill Athletics on the map,” Chism said.

Chism didn’t think about it at the time, but he’s so grateful for Milson’s leadership. As a symbol of that gratitude, a photo of high school-era Chism and Milson together adorns his office.

“Now that I’m older and wiser, words can’t describe the things he poured into me,” Chism said. “Everything he poured into me has worked.”

Chism graduated from Prairie View A&M University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development. He joined the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and worked in the PVAMU Sports Information Office. Upon graduation, he met his wife, Candace, when the two were first-year teachers at a middle school in Duncanville. Candace is now a counselor at Collegiate Academy & High School in Cedar Hill.

At age 30, Chism became a head coach for a small school in Dallas. At 32, he was the named the head coach at Duncanville and returned home to Cedar Hill four years later at age 36.

Two of Chism’s former assistants – Corey Johnson (Waxahachie) and Darren Sims (Fort Worth South Hills and Arlington Sam Houston) – have become head coaches.

Chism has guided the Longhorns to two playoff appearances in four seasons. Last season, Cedar Hill enjoyed its best season since 2015. It’s quite a feat considering Chism inherited a program that had won just six games the previous season.

Chism attributes the rise of the program to something he developed as both a homage to Milson, and a blueprint for the future of the CHHS Boys Basketball Program. He calls it “The Longhorn Way” and it emphasizes that average players can achieve extraordinary things when they devote themselves to teamwork and a strong work ethic.

“The Longhorn Way is consistently ‘Doing the Little Things in order for Big Things to Happen’,” Chism said. “It is having the willingness to take our strengths to the level of mastery and our weaknesses will be transformed into strengths. This will be accomplished by doing things that most aren’t willing to do.”

Chism, with 19 years as an educator, said he’ll coach “until I can’t anymore.”

His streak of always showing up is reminiscent of Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, but his constant sideline accessory recalls the late college basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian.

“I go through 20 whistles per year, and I’m a shirt biter,” Chism said. “So I got the towel, and I am superstitious about my towel. I am usually a quiet and shy person, but when people see me coaching basketball, they’re seeing me in my element.”


Corey Chism – Cedar Hill High School

Ricardo Malbrew – Cedar Hill High School

Treina Dabney – Plummer Elementary School

Lissette Guardiola – Collegiate Academy Middle School

Helen Leffall – Bray Elementary School


Matthew Banks – Cedar Hill High School

Brittany Breaux — Bessie Coleman Middle School

Jeremy Burner – Permenter Middle School

Irene Cardoso — Collegiate High School

Triena Dabney – Plummer Elementary School

Scheherazade Ellis — High Pointe Elementary School

Sharonia Gray – Cedar Hill High School

Angel Hale – Permenter Middle School

Kathy Houston — Bessie Coleman Middle School

Nikki Kelley — Collegiate Prep Elementary School

Sheryl Moore – STRIVE Academy

Alexander Riggins – Cedar Hill High School

Chelcie Smith — Lake Ridge Elementary School

Markia Tate – Waterford Oaks Elementary School