After a closed session of the George West Board of Trustee last week, the board voted to unanimously extend a one year contract for the athletic director and head football coach to high school principal Jay Newberry.
Superintendent Ty Sparks called the choice a “win-win” for the district because it would allow for all the other staff to same the same and the students would be coached by someone they are familiar with.
The district also extended a contract to offer to Gary Davenport as an assistant head coach. Davenport accepted.
Both men met with the coaching staff Friday morning to inform that that the position of AD had been filled and that Davenport would also be joining the staff.
In a interview Monday Newberry talked about his new position that he has already assumed.
Additional he will be staying on as high school principal until the end of the year.
Why Newberry may seem like a surprise to some he is definitely qualified.
He has been in education for 29 years and over half of those years have been as a high school football coach both head and assistant.
Newberry served as the head football coach in Falls city for a number of years before moving onto other coaching opportunities in George West and Port Lavaca.
Even though there will be a new helm, Newberry said there will be very little change.
“There is nothing broke here in George West,” Newberry said.“Coach Holt did a great job and we are going to continue that.
He went to say that one of the greatest things for the players is that he terminology they are used to will not be changing.
The players will also being seeing the same faces as far as other staff goes.
In most cases when a new AD comes in a new staff comes in as well but Newberry is not doing that.
“I told every coach they had a job,” he said. “They are all good coaches and good people.”
Two-a-days will start in August for the students but Newberry has plans for his staff for over the summer.
He hopes to take them to meet with other coaches not in their district and swap strategies about what works for each of them.
“As a student or a coach you should always be willing to learn,” he said.
He hopes not only to expand the knowledge of the staff but also the students. He wants to make them into more than just football players.
“You want to make these young men into outstanding citizens,” Newberry said.
But he hasn’t frgotten he is still there for football and he wants to give them the key to being a great team.
“Be strong, be physical, and pound the ball at them,” he said. “We will win in the fourth quarter because we are in better shape than them.
Newberry is a realist and he knows there are games that will end in defeat though.
“As a coach I have learned more from a loss than a win,” he said. “There are two things you can do when you loose; you can fold your tent up and go home or you can practice harder and win.”
Standing next to Newberry through this whole process will be Davenport.
The two have know each other for years both as opposing team coaches and coaches donning the same team colors.
This will be the third time the two have stood side by side on a field.
Davenport is also not new to George West. He has coached there on previous occasions as the head coach and athletic director.
“I am proud to be back here,” Davenport said of his return to George West.
Davenport, who has been retired twice and spent the last season coaching in Aransas Pass, took the job in George West to be closer to his wife.
“My wife informed me that 13 moves was enough,” he said.
Davenport has been married and coaching for 41 years.
His changes to the team are similar to those of Newberrys’
“They do a lot of things right already,” Davenport said. “You won’t see a drastic change just some tweaks and most people won’t even notice it.”
Davenport has a firm believe that time spent in the weight room will guide the team to a good season.
“Strength does matter in athletics and that is one of the few things we can control,” he said.
Davenport wants to encourage the students in all their endeavours not just football.
“Do things right whether in English class or on the football field,” he said.
Davenport said George West will be the last stop in his coaching career and he plans on staying until retirement.
“I will only leave if I am not having fun anymore or for health reasons, but right now I am having fun and feeling pretty good,” he said.
Davenport will also serve as the golf coach when the season comes around for that.