Gonzales Junior High athletic director Joey Carrizales will be making the transition to the high school with Gonzales ISD Athletic Director Mike Waldie making the announcement earlier this week of Carrizales’ promotion to high school girls athletic coordinator.
“I wanted to find the best candidate for the girls side to run their side when I was not available, report directly to me and make sure our girls were bigger, faster, stronger in every program, so their head coaching duties did not interfere with selection of that person,” Waldie said of the hiring process. “That’s what I went about my posting for the job and that’s where I went about finding the right candidate for the job. I felt like we done that now [with Carrizales].”
The longtime Gonzales Apache will complete his 16th year with the school district and his 10th year as junior high coordinator. Carrizales has coached high school football and baseball, as well as junior high football and track and field.
“Gonzales ISD has great administrators in place today,” Carrizales told the Inquirer. “Having support from strong leaders helped in my decision to transfer to high school. After meeting with Coach Waldie and [Gonzales High School principal Michael] Garza, there was no hesitation in my decision.”
“Joining Coach Waldie’s vision for our boys and girls athletic programs is going to be an adventure,” he added. “I’m excited to join a solid and hard-working girls coaching staff. Being a father of two girls has introduced me into the competitive spirit of girl sports which also leads me to have a vested interest in the Gonzales girls athletic program. I believe we have tremendous amounts of Lady Apache talent and they deserve consistency which will help take them to new levels.”
Previous girls athletic coordinator Kevin Johnson accepted a position in the Panhandle, according to Waldie.
“I want to make sure to thank Coach Johnson for his time served,” Waldie said. “We wish him and his family the best on his move. Wish them nothing but future success.”
Meanwhile, the district is currently in the process of searching for a replacement for Carrizales at the junior high level.
“We have quality in-house people for that that we’re going to look at first and maybe do a promotion from within,” Waldie noted. “We’re excited about that as well.”
Carrizales’ move to high school won’t come without its challenges. For one thing, Carrizales admits that the goals at the junior high are different than high school.
“Turning challenges into successes is the key to building programs,” he said. “At the high school level, focusing on winning is a priority. At junior high, we focus on fundamentals and building a foundation.”
Even then, the Gonzales native is ready to take on the job and has already set goals in place for the upcoming school year.
“Lady Apache goals for next year are to have all athletes buy into the Apache culture,” Carrizales said. “They must enjoy what it takes to win championships. Working hard is an everyday process! Athletes will grow as a team and not as individuals. We will have an Apache winning mindset that we are not average, it’s easy to be average, chose greatness!”
“Coaches and players must have a championship attitude,” he continued. “Next year, we are to compete fiercely in the classroom and on the court, reach the playoffs, win state championships, train differently than other teams, enhance our strength and conditioning program, have positive and committed attitudes and be mentally and emotionally strong during challenges. Lady Apaches will respect our school and community, their coaches and families, their teachers and teammates, and respect how the game is played.”
Carrizales’ experience at the junior high is sure to be an advantage, Waldie noted.
“The connection there [with previous students] was so valuable and I think at times, the ability to hire a true born and bred Gonzales Apache doesn’t come around very often either,” he said. “That connection with me, with parents and the kids rose [Carrizales] very high on my list immediately.”
Carrizales agreed that his experience here in Gonzales will be of use at his new position.
“I believe Gonzales is a great place to live,” he said. “Being born and raised in Gonzales is important because it gives an advantage of knowing the culture and background of the students. Knowing the background of students helps build stronger relationships which is vital in the success of student athletes.”
With jobs opened in Gonzales, Carrizales will immediately assist Waldie in the hiring process, filling positions as needed.