Former Cy Falls HS basketball coach inducted into area Hall of Fame
Former Cypress Falls High School Basketball Coach Jim Draudt, fifth from left, joined five other Houston-area retired basketball coaches as the inaugural Houston Area Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame class. The six were honored and recognized May 4 at Stafford High School during a ceremony at the association’s annual all-star game.
By Jesus Trujillo Hernandez, Cypress Falls HS
May 13, 2022—After 44 years of service, former Cypress Falls High School Basketball Coach Jim Draudt was inducted into the inaugural Houston Area Basketball Coaches Association (HABCA) Hall of Fame on May 4 during a ceremony at the association’s annual all-star game.
Draudt was among six former longtime Houston-area basketball coaches to comprise the hall of fame’s first class. Joining him for the induction was his family, which includes son Chris Draudt, the head basketball coach at Cypress Woods High School.
“I feel so blessed, humbled and honored and I thought of all the schools, players and coaches I was fortunate to work with on my journey,” Jim Draudt said. “The other hall of fame coaches recognized with me are all great coaches, so what an honor to be a part of this group. The Houston area has so many great coaches so it’s a little overwhelming to be recognized by my peers. It is such a great honor and it was all possible because of the support from my family, assistant coaches, school administrators and all my former players.”
Jim Draudt helped opened Cypress Falls in 1992 and build the boys’ basketball program from the ground up. During his 22 seasons has the Golden Eagles’ head coach, he led his teams to 593 career victories.
“I’m really excited for Coach Draudt and his family,” said Richard Flores, the current Cypress Falls head basketball coach and former assistant under Draudt before succeeding his mentor. “He dedicated many, many hours to basketball; specifically, here at Cypress Falls and the CFISD community. Whether it was opening the gym after school or coming up during the summer to open the gym, Coach Draudt used basketball to grow young men. Compete every day, give your best and he did it with a humble heart.”
Draudt led Cypress Falls to more than a dozen playoff appearances and nine district championships (1995-1997, 2004-2006 and 2011-2013) before retiring in 2014.
He was well known and respected within the basketball community, especially by coaches who worked with him and within the Cypress Falls athletic department. Draudt served as a mentor to both coaches and students.
Former Cypress Falls High School Basketball Coach Jim Draudt, second from right, was among six Houston-area retired basketball coaches inducted into the Houston Area Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He was joined by his family for the ceremony. Draudt spent 22 seasons leading Cypress Falls, winning 593 games and nine district championships.
A number of former Draudt assistant coaches have gone on to become successful head coaches and administrators. Among those are Jim Stephens, who won more than 600 games in his career and led the Cypress Falls girls’ basketball program to the UIL State Tournament in 2012, and Troy Kite, who currently serves as the Humble ISD director of athletics.
“I had a nickname for him and that was ‘Daddy Draudt,’” said Veronica Johnson, head girls’ basketball coach at Atascocita High School, who served as a Cypress Falls assistant and credits Draudt in helping shape her coaching philosophy. “Just because that’s who he was. He was always looking out for everybody, taking care of everybody and always wanting to see young coaches like myself be successful. He’s a huge part of why I’m at Atascocita right now. He always just made sure that he looked out for coaches that were underneath him. He was a great mentor.”
Draudt’s dedication to the sport extends beyond simply coaching the game of basketball. He’s credited for his dedication to his students and the relationships he made with others in the community. To this day, Draudt tries to keep in contact with former students and athletes along with other coaches.
“Coach Draudt taught me to bring it every day,” Flores said. “Take advantage of the athletic period you are given and teach the players the game. And it’s OK to be passionate about your expectations, as long as the players know that you genuinely care about them.”
Added Chris Draudt, who started the boys’ basketball program at Cypress Woods and has led the Wildcats to five district championships: “That strong bond with his players was one of the great influences on my decision to go into coaching. I hoped to have that same impact with my players that he did.”
Now, Jim Draudt will add his induction into the HABCA Hall of Fame to his many accomplishments and contributions to the basketball community.
“Basketball has been a big part of my life since an early age,” he said. “My college coach had a great influence on me and encouraged me to get into coaching. Becoming a teacher and coach allowed me to continue my passion for the game.”