Stanford takes over as AD and head coach

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Photo by Lauren Maynard

Texarkana Independent School District’s new Athletic Director and head football coach Gerry Stanford answers questions during a meeting with THS Student Media. Stanford was the previously the Athletic Director and head football coach at Flower Mound Mason.

Texas High football is rich in tradition. Texas High wins football games. These are ideas and traditions that the community of Texarkana is accustomed to. Change is not one of those ideas that come often with Texas High. However all good things end, and change is inevitable. That change has come and arrived in the likes of new Athletic Director and head football coach Gerry Stanford.

Raised in Southlake, Texas, Stanford has football in his blood. His father a state championship football coach in the state of Louisiana provided the basis for Stanford to begin coaching. His career began at Grapevine Faith Christian School as an offensive coordinator at the age of 20.

“Growing up as a football coach’s son, even after my father joined a new business all I ever knew was I wanted to be a football coach,” said Stanford.

After news broke through way of a surprise press conference at Arkansas High, tenured coach Barry Norton crossed town to take the position of Athletic Director and head football coach of Arkansas High. With this hiring comes the understanding of the communities expectations. Traditions and history deeply rooted underneath Norton run deep in Texarkana, Stanford plans to build on the components that attracted him to the job.

“Tradition has stood the test of time here at Texas High, and as long as it stands the test of time you just want to fill in shoes,” said Stanford. “You just want to keep things moving forward, and improve what needs to be improved and keep the legacy of what Texas Tiger football is.”

We always say four years here equals 40 years into the rest of your life . . .”

— Gerry Stanford

Stanford has a long list of accolades but one of his most intriguing being an assistant coach for the U.S Army All-American Game this year. Hosted by Adidas and the U.S Army, the nation’s best coaches and players come together to showcase talent for college coaches.

Head football coach is only half of the job title that Stanford accepted, his other half is the overseer of all sports as Athletic Director. Other sports teams of Texas High have had great success in the past but have lacked the notoriety they deserve. In a previous job as Athletic Director at White Oak High School, Stanford won the Texas Cup, which is an award for the most well rounded school in Texas based off athletics and academics.

“When you win a state championship, or kids go to state academic meets kids walk away with a certain pride and excitement from that,” said Stanford. “People want to be involved in those things, I think it is my job as Athletic Director to provide not only the opportunity for these kids to succeed but to also take joy and excitement with the kids.”

Stanford received the Semper Fi award in 2015, an award provided by the U.S Marine Corp to a high school coach who displays  faithfulness to the mission of their team and exemplifies the Marine standard of excellence in developing leaders.

“We want to bring consistency to the program, first priority is taking care of kids first,” said Stanford. “High School is about kids enjoying their four years, we want to love kids and provide them an opportunity to be surrounded by success and excitement. We always say four years here equals 40 years into the rest of your life of what Texas High Tiger football and Texas High athletics holds.”