Corey Chism is back home, and he’s ready to bring his alma mater Cedar Hill back to the basketball prominence the Longhorns enjoyed when he was a player on the team.
The 2001 graduate of CHS brings with him a plethora of experience and knowledge, having learned from some of the best coaches the high school game has to offer – including his own father, Michael Chism.
“Coaching is in my blood,” Corey Chism said.
Michael Chism spent three decades in the Dallas School District coaching a variety of sports, mostly track.
“He was a phenomenal track coach. My dad was old school,” Corey Chism said. “I also grew up when the DISD was in its heyday in basketball.”
Chism’s mom is in Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame
In addition, his mother, Angela Dudley Chism, was inducted into the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 for her accomplishments in track and field. She was part of a world-record relay team at Prairie View A&M in 1977 and had a chance at making the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team before the U.S. decided not to participate in the summer games in protest of Russia invading Afghanistan.
So why didn’t Chism follow his parents into the track and field world? Well, he did at first.
“I did coach track right out of college. That was my second love growing up,” he said.
But basketball was his first love. And though he did not play in college (he had planned to walk on at Prairie View A&M, but decided otherwise), he learned enough about the game to be very good at his craft when the time came.
He came to Cedar Hill after having spent the past four seasons as head coach of the Duncanville Panthers, leading the team to the state playoffs all four years, including their first outright district championship in a decade in 2018. Before that, he was head coach at Life School Oak Cliff.
Corey Chism set records as Life School coach
In his inaugural season at Life School (2012-13), his team set a school record with 26 victories, followed by 28 the next, reaching the state playoffs each season.
Chism came to Cedar Hill with an overall record of 150-57. He inherited a team that has struggled in recent seasons, and at the time of this article’s writing the Longhorns were 9-11, which was almost twice as many wins as a season ago (5-20).
“We’re not where we want to be right now, but we’re going to get there,” he said. “This is Cedar Hill, and the standards are high.”
Chism should know. He was with the program when it was turning the corner into a state powerhouse under Coach David Milson. Chism’s two varsity seasons featured a pair of playoff appearances, including a regional quarterfinals berth in 2000.
Learned from Duncanville, Cedar Hill coaches
Chism learned a lot from Milson, he said. He also learned much while working as an assistant at Duncanville from 2008-11 under another legendary coach, Phil McNeely.
“A lot of what I do in my coaching career came from Coach Milson, getting average players to do above average things. Champions do every day what others do occasionally. That’s basically what I’m bringing back to the program,” he said.
“One big thing I learned from Coach McNeely is how to manage talent. Also, he did a good job of letting you know what your role was on the team – and he made basketball fun.”
Now that he’s back at Cedar Hill, Chism said he is putting emphasis on Milson’s philosophy known as “The Longhorn Way.” Simply put, it means “doing the little things in order for big things to happen.”
Cedar Hill is family for Coach Chism
“We are very fortunate to have Coach Corey Chism back in Cedar Hill leading our Longhorn basketball team. Being an alumnus of Cedar Hill, it means something to him. You can see it daily in his work ethic, the time and devotion he has for this program and this team,” Cedar Hill Acting Executive Athletic Director Melanie Benjamin said. “He emphasizes to his team daily the Longhorn Way. This is more than a job to him, this is family.”
And Chism reflects on his family growing up even as he molds the players in his Cedar Hill family.
“Every program I’ve taken over we apply blue collar values,” Chism said. “It’s the will, not the skill, that’s going to get you where you want to go. I want players with a growth mindset, thinking we all can get better at something.”