Gonzales athletic director Mike Waldie announced the hiring of two coaches this week to bolster the Apaches athletic program.
New to Apache Nation are coaches Beaux Gipson and Mike Fowler. Gipson’s main role will be the quarterbacks’ coach while Fowler will head the girls’ basketball team.
QB coach needed for one-on-one training
Coming from Spearman High, Gipson will join the Apaches as the quarterback coach for the football team. Last season, Waldie “tag teamed” the responsibilities with offensive coordinators Robbie Coplin and Kyle Alexander. But with the coaches splitting duties, Waldie said the quarterbacks needed someone to go to every day.
“We finally came to the conclusion [that] the spot we’re missing is a QB guy,” he said. “Plus, of all our quarterbacks coming back, we don’t have one with a snap at varsity level yet.”
The Apaches were hoping to use the 7-on-7 state competition to help groom a quarterback, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a chance the competition doesn’t happen.
Nonetheless, Waldie believes Gipson’s experience on both the college and high school level will be an asset to this program.
“We’re fired up to have him.”
Gipson attended Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, La., graduating from Glenbrook School in Minden, La. He has a bachelor of science in general kinesiology from Mississippi College and a master of science in kinesiology – coaching from Southern Arkansas University. Growing up, he played football, basketball and baseball and competed in all those sports plus track in high school. Gipson also played football at the college level.
His coaching resume includes stops at North Caddo High School in Vivian, La., Southern Arkansas University, Lyon College in Batesville, Ark. And at Spearman High School here in Texas.
Gipson brings to Gonzales his wife Christian, who he calls “my best friend.”
“She's my best friend and has been a phenomenal supporter throughout my coaching career,” he told the Inquirer. “She’s an extremely patient wife. Without her support and encouragement, I wouldn't be able to get paid to have fun in the business of coaching.”
Fowler to lead the girls’ basketball program
The Gonzales Lady Apaches basketball team ended a 10-year drought, advancing to the second round of playoffs in mid-February. Their 11-point loss against then #3-ranked Beeville ended their season in the area round with an overall record of 27-10, second in District 30-4A. Coming in to take over as head coach and to hopefully push the team into greater heights is Mike Fowler who comes to Gonzales after a stint at Midland Lee High.
When the head coach position became available here in Gonzales, Waldie was excited about getting Fowler and planned on reaching out to him, but Fowler beat him to the punch, applying to the job as soon as it opened.
“He applied to the job even before I can do it,” Waldie recalled, “so that excited me how interested he was in our girls, our program and the community of Gonzales.”
Fowler applied to the position last year, Waldie said, and was “strongly considered.” Ultimately, the Apaches opted to hire Lance Butler, but Waldie made sure to keep Fowler in mind.
This go round, Fowler again stood out to the Apaches athletic director, making the top three list before he was officially offered the job.
“After 24 years of doing this, you got to go with your gut,” Waldie said. “My gut tells me Mike is the best fit.”
Waldie touted Fowler’s experience as well as his family life as even more reason to hire him.
Before Fowler’s stint at Midland Lee, he spent three years at Stephenville High. Fowler is a graduate of Winters High School and Tarleton State University.
“Monica, who is the reason I went into coaching, and our daughters Bella and Alexa will transition to Gonzales over the summer,” Fowler told the Inquirer. “Both girls participated in the basketball program while at Stephenville and will join the Lady Apaches upon arrival.”
The Apaches will continue to add to the program, with more hires to be announced next week.