More Than Architects:
A 56-Year Legacy

In 2017, Huckabee commemorated our 50th anniversary. We celebrated the legacy of Tommie Huckabee and the vision he shared with his son, Chris Huckabee, that led to five decades of service to Texas public education. 

In the past decade, Huckabee expanded our services and expertise, grew our team and became a leader in our craft. Our culture of more was borne from this growth; from the belief that what we do matters and how we do it matters more. Our clients needed a trusted advisor—a team of experts who were “all-in” to help them create environments that inspire! 

That 50-year milestone also set in motion a strategic plan to bring the passion, purpose and innovation of Huckabee to more communities, more firms and more people across the nation.

Now in our 56th year and looking forward, Huckabee is proud to be the founding brand of MOREgroup, a platform of architecture, design and engineering firms. Our milestone strategic plan has come to fruition as we work toward building a national network of people, technology and ideas to deliver the best in planning and design practices to the communities we serve. Together, we are more!


Fifty years ago, Tommie Huckabee saw an opportunity to bridge the gap in the architect and contractor relationship. He grew up working with his father, a general contractor, and knew the importance of a solid set of construction documents. As a result, he believed he owed it to his clients to do detailed drawings that bid more accurately and delivered more value. In 1967, Tommie and his colleague, Herman Riherd, opened Riherd & Huckabee in Andrews and Lubbock, Texas. The philosophy that inspired their vision is the foundation for what we still believe today—above all else: quality, integrity and service.

From the beginning, our work focused on education. We primarily served West Texas school districts, earning a reputation for excellence in the region. At the time, Riherd & Huckabee was designing some of the most innovative facilities in the region, including a new middle school for Andrews ISD that had a planetarium, three gymnasiums and an open concept learning environment. Another project, in Monahans-Wickett-Pyote ISD, was one of Tommie’s favorites; it was selected in 1976 to exhibit at an International Design Competition in Basel, Switzerland.

In the mid-70s, Riherd retired, and a new partner, Larry Donham, joined Tommie. Huckabee & Donham had 10 employees. For the next 15 years, they continued to build the firm’s legacy. During this time, Tommie opened an office in Stephenville, where the firm relocated after Donham’s retirement.

In 1989, Huckabee was short-listed in Mansfield ISD. The district was small, and they were looking for a partner to grow with. Huckabee fit the bill, and we kicked off a 33-year relationship that has resulted in more than $1.75 billion in school projects. It was one of the most significant moments for our firm. 

In 1990, we became Huckabee & Associates. Tommie’s son, Chris Huckabee, graduated from Texas Tech University and joined the firm.

Chris had learned from the best. In second grade he attended his first board meeting with his father. Soon after, he started riding along to visit construction sites and meet with clients whenever the opportunity arose. He was entrenched in Huckabee, and when graduation came, eager to make his mark and work alongside Tommie.


In 1995, Chris opened an office in Fort Worth, another significant move for Huckabee. It provided more opportunities for the firm to compete in a larger market. In 2000, Tommie passed the torch to Chris, leaving behind a legacy of excellence and a foundation that continues to sustain us.

Over the next nine years, Huckabee focused on the work, establishing a presence in new markets to the east, north and south. We developed new relationships and started working with school districts that remain our partners today.

When the recession hit in 2009, we doubled down on our commitment to Texas education. Huckabee invested in hiring talented leaders in the educational design field. We diversified our offerings and focused on being a trusted advisor for our clients. We took the time to reflect on our role in education and work with school districts to develop comprehensive plans for the future. We embodied the concept of being “More than Architects,” a vision that allowed us to do more, be more and give more to our clients. It was a defining moment for Huckabee, and it led to an incredible period of growth.

By 2011, Huckabee started expanding in Texas. We opened offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Notably, we also opened the Learning Experience Laboratories (LEx Labs) in partnership with ESC Region 12 at Baylor University. LEx Labs is an educational research center and test lab used by Huckabee, our clients and the university to explore 21st century classrooms and learning spaces. 

In 2016, on the eve of our 50th anniversary, Huckabee was named the #1 educational design firm in Texas by Engineering News Record. The recognition was a testament to our employees, clients and our commitment to education. At the time, we had over 200 employees across the state, with more than 3,500 educational projects under our cap.


Our leadership team created a strategic plan focused on growing our impact and bringing the best in planning and design practices to our clients and the communities they serve. In 2022, we welcomed an investment partner, Godspeed Capital, to bring strategic relationships, substantial investment capital and an impressive experience in building premier professional services companies.

With Godspeed, Huckabee became the founding brand of MOREgroup, a platform of architecture, design and engineering firms. Through MOREgroup, we are building partnerships with firms that excel within a single market sector, providing a unique perspective in education, healthcare and health science + technology, public architecture and engineering. Each brand will retain the distinct focus that led it to success, while also contributing to a holistic network of services, expertise and innovation that is shared across markets.

Through MOREgroup, we expanded into California and Nevada and established partnerships with Rachlin Partners (now Huckabee) and TSK Architects, both fully integrated A/E firms who are best-in-class in their distinct focus areas of education and public architecture. We partnered with IEG, an MEP firm that is a leader in sustainable and cost effective design strategies for school facilities. And most recently, MOREgroup welcomed E4H Environments for Health Architecture as a leader in healthcare and health science + technology design. E4H has offices across the East Coast, in Texas and in Utah. 

As we grow, our foundation remains: what we do matters and how we do it matters more. Our clients need a trusted advisor—a team of experts who are “all-in” to help them create environments that inspire! We are building a network of partners and firms that bring the best in planning and design practices to those we serve. 

“I couldn’t be more proud or excited. My father founded this firm in 1967; we have built upon his legacy and are now poised to impact communities across the country. The future is incredibly bright for our clients and employees, and I look forward to sharing our continued story of success.” — Christopher M. Huckabee, Chief Executive Officer, MOREgroup