New director promises change of pace for athletics program


Lauren Maynard

Athletic Director and head football coach Gerry Stanford gives a speech during his welcoming ceremony. Stanford took over the athletics program after former director Barry Norton moved to Arkansas High.

Story by Tye Shelton, sports editor

A young face now has the reins as Gerry Stanford assumed control Feb. 27 of the athletic department as the new director on head football coach. Stanford is a change of pace from the past 18 years that Barry Norton built his empire here. This empire set a precedent for expectations for football and how it should continue to be.

Morality and principle is not always a top priority for some football coaches as their job hinges on the lone fact that they must win to keep it. In the state of Texas, high school football is not just a sport; for some, it’s a religion. Football is praised in our state, and whatever has to happen to win is okay. Stanford looks to raise men and women out of our athletes first and foremost. Games and athletics come second–it is the future he plans to build first that makes this hire so exciting.

A man of strong discipline, Stanford began his first day of work at 6 a.m. In a world of instantaneous and right now, people’s first impressions are everything. Starting at 6 a.m. lets everyone know that Stanford isn’t taking his job lightly. This move will be good for Texas High–Stanford embodies the change that has been needed for some time now.

Texas High has not advanced past the first round of playoffs in the three major sports since the baseball team won state in 2009. There are problems that exist, and the answer we have long been searching for is here. Stanford brings a certain excitement with him that has undeniably set him apart from other contenders for this job. He is a winner of the Texas Cup and the Semper Fi award, and he coached at the U.S Army All-American game. Clearly, Stanford is well rounded for the position.

Strong faith is a key part of Stanford’s character, and it is evident that he is a man of belief no matter what the subject is. Even on day one of the job, the atmosphere of the press conference was something I have never felt in my four years as a Texas High student-athlete. There was a sense of hope in the building as it seemed every word that came out of Stanford’s mouth provided promise to success, something we have not been exposed to in quite a while.

Change is an uncomfortable thing for us as humans, but is something everyone endures at one point or another. Rumors of wanting change at the top are no longer silenced by doubt, and boasting fans of previous title holders have had to bite their tongue. Differences of opinion have sparked the transition in the past months on campus, but all of this will come to a head at kickoff next season. The only certainty in this is that Stanford is going to give Texas High his best effort to make us a winning program once again.