GOLIAD – When Kevin Salazar was hired to be Goliad’s athletic director and head football coach, one of his first goals was to lure an old friend of his back to town to run the Tigers’ offense.
The only problem was that old friend was already an athletic director and head football coach at a nearby program.
But, Salazar forged ahead with his plan anyway, and after more than two months, he got his yes from John Livas.
The 46-year-old Livas is now the Tigers’ offensive coordinator.
“I think the timing on things was right to just come back,” Livas said during an interview last week after hosting an online meeting with nearly three dozen Goliad players.
It will be Livas’ second stint at Goliad. He was previously the offensive coordinator under coach John Mares in 2012.
Livas has lived in Goliad since that stint, opting to commute each day during his seven-year run as the AD and head football coach at Skidmore-Tynan.
Being closer to home and being able to bring his freshman-to-be son, Justin, back to Goliad fueled Livas’ decision to return, he said.
“Family was one because I think you have to put family first beyond everything.”
There were other factors as well, though, he admitted.
“It’s Goliad. This place has a great reputation,” Livas said. “They’ve had a lot of great football coaches here. ... They have great talent here.”
The latter of those things certainly got Livas’ attention, and he’s welcoming the great expectations that go with it.
“The expectations are high. The Goliad community is very prideful. There’s a lot of pride here,” he said. “... They want a state championship here and that’s something we want to work toward.
“I think we have an opportunity to work toward a state championship.”
Livas isn’t ashamed to call himself a proud mafioso of the “Slot-T Mafia,” the colloquial name for coaches who still employ the misdirection-based offense known as the slot-T.
He ran it with the Tigers in 2012 and he’s bringing it back in 2020.
It will be Goliad’s base offense, Livas said.
“We are bringing the slot-T, the misdirection offense, back,” he noted. “But, we are going to evolve. ... I think we’re going to be able to do some other things.
“I think with the talent of the kids I’ve seen here, I think we’re going to be able to do multiple things. I think that’s what is going to make us dangerous.”
And if the slot-T isn’t the best fit, Livas said, he will find what is.
“You have to adapt with the kids you have and that’s what I’m going to plan to do here.”
Livas will have full control of the Tigers’ offense.
And he will do that under a coach who he says reminds him of someone he knows very well: himself.
“He reminds me a lot of myself when I was his age,” Livas said of Salazar, who will continue to call the defense in addition to his duties as the team’s final decision maker.
“He’s young, eager. ... I’m going to be here to help and assist him in any way.”
Kevin J. Keller is the sports editor at the Bee-Picayune and the Advance-Guard and can be reached at 343-5223, or at sports@MySouTex.com, or follow him on Twitter, @beegoliadsports.