GONZALES — Gonzales coach Anthony Slade was “thrown into the fire” last Friday as he began his first day on the job as boys soccer assistant coach and head junior varsity coach during the Apaches inaugural tournament that weekend.
Born in Cuero but raised in Yorktown all his life, Slade traded in his black and gold to put on the Gonzales Apaches’ black and orange colors last weekend as he was officially added to the staff.
“I’m glad that I got a chance to get this job from [Athletic Director Kodi] Crane,” Slade said. “I was glad when he called me the next day and asked if I wanted the job. I told him ‘yeah,’ especially since seeing all the energy was with the coaching staff and the students.”
Just like most of his coworkers on the staff, Slade was a multi-sport athlete during his playing days, competing in football, basketball and a bit of track.
“He’s young and energetic and excited to be in Gonzales,” Crane said. “He’s extremely excited, extremely motivated and I think he’s going to be a great fit for our school and a great fit for our kids.”
Admittedly, Slade is new to soccer. But with an opening on the boys’ side, head boys soccer coach Greg Ramirez has taken the young coach under his wing.
“He is going to be the new head JV coach,” Ramirez said. “Already the guys are taking to him, he’s seen how they’re playing, already getting a good idea on how everything is ran. He’s a good edition to this program.”
Before taking the position, Slade had a different route than normal to pursuing a career in education. Initially, he worked in the oil field and some other jobs before going back to school and realizing his passion for teaching and coaching. He graduated from college last month.
“This is my first official coaching job, so I have a lot to learn,” Slade said.
On-the-job training came quick as Slade began last Friday, the first day of tournament play.
“It’s a good way to start it off!” he said Saturday night after the conclusion of the tournament.
Crane took notice of the young coach’s weekend, giving Slade props for how he’s handled his first few days in Gonzales. Usually, coaches have the summer to handle the in-processing, whether it be getting your classroom, setting up email addresses, etc.
“We start [Slade] out Friday, shook his hand and said, ‘good luck’ and he got after it,” Crane said of Slade’s start. “To not ever have practice time, just be thrown out in the fire, day number one, I think he handled it as good as he could.”
Slade added that everyone has been very friendly during his short time here in Gonzales.
“Everybody seems really friendly and welcoming,” he said. “I came in to the school [Friday] and everybody was open arms and willing to help me out whenever I needed it. From the faculty at the school to the coaching staff. It’s easy to talk to people and it looks like we’ll have good bonds around here.”
Slade is set to be the defensive tackles coach during the fall football season.
Photo by José Torres/Gonzales Inquirer
Newly hired coach Anthony Slade (left) looks on with head boys soccer coach Greg Ramirez (right) during Gonzales’ inaugural tournament last weekend. Friday was Slade’s first day on the job.