CONSIDER THIS: 8 Reasons Why We Couldn’t Find a Coach… Until Now

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Michael Rodriguez

Michael Rodriguez

“I can’t believe the news today. I can’t close my eyes and make it go away.” –Paul “Bono” Hewson, U2

Sing it for San Benito, Bono! Because finding the words to describe my frustration in the process of selecting a new head football coach and athletic director for the Greyhounds has become too daunting a task, so much that I opted to recite lyrics from a classic U2 song rather than depress myself with my own words. It is, after all, exactly how it all began on Thursday Bloody Thursday (see what I did there?): closing my eyes and exhaling in disbelief after hearing that Patrick Brown bowed out of consideration.

My initial reaction was to chronologically run through the events that transpired leading up to Brown’s withdrawal—this in an effort to discover exactly how it all went wrong.

Okay, so Spencer Gantt resigns as the head football coach for the San Benito Greyhounds in January. The job is posted immediately thereafter on the school district website and via Region One.

That’s one.

The San Benito CISD Board of Trustees then opts to hire a search firm, first deciding on Texas high school coaching legend Rusty Dowling before opting for Champions Consulting at a $10,000 flat rate, which occurred after the former decided to split.

That’s two.

Fifty-two applicants are received by the district for Champions to evaluate and vet (I hope). Still, despite the large amount of hopefuls who applied for the Greyhound gig, there was some initial disappointment because several big name coaches were nowhere on the list. Since applicants such as Monty Stumbaugh, Joe Solis and Rudy Gonzalez carried more weight than most in the Valley, some forgave what others claimed was a mediocre-heavy list.

That’s three.

The process of narrowing down the list of applicants proved tricky. Officially, the list of finalists contained 12 names that were all interviewed by the firm. Then there were seven; then five: Stumbaugh, Brown, Gus Cavazos, Daniel Gomez and Jose Gonzales. At that point, interim superintendent Dr. Ismael Cantu, San Benito High School Principal Henry Sanchez and interim AD Ramiro Partida conducted the interviews.

That’s four.

Stumbaugh withdraws. This is a major blow to San Benito as the Port Isabel Tarpons head football coach and former Cuero assistant, who won like a thousand district championships and secured a million state playoff appearances, was thought to have the job in the bag.

That’s five. That’s a big one.

But never fear, Brown, Cavazos, Gomez and Gonzales are still here! …Wait, what? Cavazos bailed too?

That’s six, folks.

Okay, so there have been some issues, but Brown still has potential and looks fantastic on paper, and Gomez has youth and may be a shot in the arm for a new-blood-hungry football program. Naturally, Brown withdrew his name.

That’s seven.

The applicants were offered less than $90,000.

That’s eight.

I’ve identified at least eight happenings that have plagued the AD hiring process for San Benito: 1.) The search didn’t begin until January, relatively late since most coaches prefer being set in their jobs by that time; 2.) I don’t know exactly what happened, but it wasn’t a good sign that the Board’s first choice for a search firm bailed on us; 3.) We didn’t get the names that other schools, like Sharyland, attracted; 4.) There were too many cooks in the kitchen during the interview process; 5.) Stumbaugh withdrew; 6.) Cavazos withdrew; 7.) Brown withdrew; 8.) You can’t lowball men with pride.

Finally, San Benito got closure on Friday after the Board selected Gomez to head the ’Hounds. And all I can say is thank God this is over. In the meantime, I’d like to welcome Gomez to the fold. May the force be with you.

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    • Croc on March 18, 2014 at 10:32 pm
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    Good ol San Benito leaders. Cut cut cut then hire people on a take it or leave it tactic but yet tell everyone “this was the most qualified candidate.” How do you think the “HR Director”, the “asst police chief”, “police chief”, and “fire chief” and etc etc were hired?? These people are just puppets run by City Managers and hire ups. Anyone ever looked into how many Parks and Recreations directors we’ve had in the last few years?? A hard working, self driven, strong minded person will never last in this city. “You have ideas and a mind of your own???….then you don’t belong here.” San Benito will just hire someone that will do it their way for cheaper. I don’t doubt Gantt got the same treatment….Gantt is not going to allow himself to be a puppet of the city. These leaders and city managers are driving this city into the ground and then turn around and straight out lie to everyone to cover it up. This might sound like ranting…..but I’ve been behind the scenes and behind closed doors. It’s happening people.

    • Croc on March 18, 2014 at 10:10 pm
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    • Bad Dog on March 18, 2014 at 10:17 am
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    I see changes coming on the SBCISD board. Out with the old and in with the new.

    Yesterday I saw Mr Chuy putting the wrap on a small smart car for his daughter….to me that is not a smart move or a smart car.

    Huertas holding and announcement gathering at the Oak Hill on Sunday…Hmmmmm I wonder who paid for that party….Im sure it wasn’t the Huertas but they were drinking it up sitting by the bar ordering every free drink they could get.

    Puro pinche give me give me give me……anyway it’s not their money it’s YOUR TAX DOLLARS!!!!!!

    • richard on March 18, 2014 at 9:57 am
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    I keep reading about the next election. How sad when only 16% of the registered voters vote! Let me explain it this way. If only 100 voters were the total number of registered voters that means that 9 voters could get someone elected. it would be 9 votes for candidate X and 7 votes for candidate Y because only 16 people voted. How sad that 16 people control what the other 84 people have to deal with. Whose fault is it? The fault of the 84 that didn’t take time to vote! It is time for the 84 to wake up!!!!! GO VOTE!!!

    • Leo Rodriguez on March 17, 2014 at 8:54 pm
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    Colleen, please don’t get discouraged because an individual comments about your grammar. I respectfully encourage you to continue contributing and expressing your thoughts. We have all been guilty of grammatical/punctuality errors. I still continue to post via my IPHONE, even though I have fat fingers, & that sometimes dreaded auto spell check.

    • WeThePeople on March 17, 2014 at 9:48 am
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    Imagine if this same amount of time, effort and CASH was spent on improving math and science scores in our middle schools??! Pathetic. NO COACH should EVER be paid more than the average classroom math teacher!

    • Yup on March 16, 2014 at 8:51 pm
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    Frank, you seem to know a lot about politics in SB. Why didn’t you throw your name in there? Saying all the other candidates aren’t good enough….how can you be so sure? I’m tired of people yapping and they don’t know a darn thing!

      • Frank on March 17, 2014 at 2:30 am
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      @ YUP, who doesn’t know about the dirty politics here In san benito? What progress has the ones running for re election made for san benito? Some of these candidates running for election are just ex politicians running for different positions. Then there are some who put their nicknames on the ballot, just shows how unprofessional they are, and the list goes on. I’m just talking about the school board, the city is the same way. Have been living under a rock to not see what’s going on? I tired of people who yap about people expressing their opinion and can’t even put their real name!

    • Colleen on March 15, 2014 at 7:02 pm
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    Sorry 4am on a cell phone. You should have more to life then checking grammar also spell check doesn’t always help. So think you if that’s what people are looking for on here consider me gone!

    • My vote on March 15, 2014 at 10:37 am
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    The fact that there is a school board containing uneducated people on it doing the work of a 6 figure salary superintendent is just flat out ridiculous. The fact that there is a school board that can argue how wrong the super is but still pay him and not prove his actions wrong is just flat out ridiculous. The fact that there is a school board that can pay a firm 10Gs and another firm 8Gs to make a decision that anybody could have made for free is just flat out ridiculous. The fact that there is school board that has members on it that promote family members in job and pay is just flat out ridiculous. The fact that there is a school board that has four members on it that do so much wrong and the other three do so little about it is flat out ridiculous.

    Board members up for reelection: why should I vote for you?
    Candidates up for election: why should I vote for you?

      • Frank on March 16, 2014 at 8:04 am
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      I agree, the ones running for reelection don’t have my vote. The ones running against these school board crooks don’t look to good either. Its a lose -lose situation here in san benito. I would like new qualified people to run, but there seems to be a shortage of those people.

    • Riannefontanot on March 15, 2014 at 12:53 am
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    Your posting is a grammatical nightmare. (Sigh)

      • Frank on March 16, 2014 at 8:06 am
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      Riannefontanot, Your comment is a waste of space

    • Colleen on March 14, 2014 at 10:26 pm
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    I just don’t understand why we always need new coaches? What’s the problem with keeping one like we do teachers unless there is some big issue. We get a new coach it take a few years to get going then we get a good team and win a lot. Kids graduate different talent comes in and we start loosing and then we need a new coach. I moved here in 1998 and it seems this is how it’s been. I don’t know if this is the norm.? Do other schools do the same thing? Who’s going to give a job to a coach who had a bed season? And what’s going to make a winning one leave where he’s at? It takes two sides, a good coach and good talent. If you have a group of boys who can’t be taught to catch a ball that is thrown right in their hands is that the coach or the player? You can have a lot a talent but you need a coach to put it together. What can a coach do if he doesn’t have much to work with? We were doing good and then they put us into the “super district” we are playing harder team who have a bigger pool of kids to choose from. We hit a low letting players come back after they have quit and stopped tryout just to do nothing then they hear we don’t have that many players and their back and become starters, I don’t see how that makes for a good team. When you don’t have the kids out there to do their best what is a coach to do? I don’t know if Coach Gantt was good or not I know he had pride and seemed to love what he was doing. If he wasn’t good yes it might be time to get rid of him but I’ve seen this happen time and time again. Maybe cause I’m not a huge football fan I don’t see it. It seems like a waste of big money playing this way. Another six years and we will be back here. I’ve never understood this with all these coaches some I liked and some I didn’t but they were good enough to hire but then when they lose they are gone. Talk about job security.

      • WeThePeople on March 17, 2014 at 11:13 am
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      This should tell you something about the mentality of the so-called leaders at SBCISD! The constant search for a coach that has some magic pill to make the football team become a winner is really stupid.
      Very sad and a perpetually losing game for the STUDENTS and TAXPAYERS that support this corrupt district.

        • Colleen on March 17, 2014 at 12:07 pm
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        That’s how I see these last 16 years in San Benito. I come from another state and never saw this and when I did asked “why?” I’ve been told it’s Texas. I love Texas I love Football, but I hate small town politics more then anything. I’ve seen it in every part be it softball, a boys and girls club sport, or school. I’ve been told for years and even my kids who where afraid to be singled out not the rock the boat just go with it. I feel the most money should be spent on the kids and getting the best teachers. Football will not go away there will always be fans in the stands. We need bettered educated children. If anyone here has or has had a child in college I’m sure you heard this ” we are not prepared ” it’s more if they go out of state. I was shocked this year as my daughter tryed getting into the top 10 percent. Eveytime she made it we would have a huge drop in enrollment. This is from transfers and drop outs and it’s a unbelievable amount. I think our money could be better spent. I’m done after June so I wish the rest Good Luck.

        • IMO on March 17, 2014 at 12:36 pm
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        The San Benito Greyhound football program can’t expect to run the Spread offense when football players aren’t being trained up to run the Spread offense. What are the student athletes in Athletics doing at the junior high level right now? What have they been doing since football finished? What have they been doing all year? The same questions apply to the VMA.

        Unless changes are made, the San Benito Greyhound football program has no shot at the Playoffs or a District title.

        A football program starts at the 7th grade. Coached and supervised at the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade levels – not just the 10th, 11th, and 12th. I repeat, coached and supervised. Expecting success, playoffs, a district title, etc, is ridiculous when coaches only work with the athletes for 3 years when all along a good coach and system have been working with their athletes for 6 years. Playing catch-up is not the game plan to victory. The separation of 9th and 10-12th grade is a major hinderance with the Program.

        The Spread requires a QB. The Spread requires a RB. The Spread requires WRs. The Program has no business running the Spread at the junior high level if t has no QB to throw the ball or WRs to catch the ball. The Program needs coaches to coach and supervise its athletes and progress. Coaches that coach. Coaches that supervise. Drills, mechanics, fundamentals. Build, build, build.

        I hope and pray, for the sake of the student athletes, that the new San Benito Greyhounds AD/HC realizes this and does his best to change the mediocrity that has become the San Benito Greyhounds football program (coaches and athletes). For the sake of the student athletes. Not for the sake of the coaches cause the coaches that have been in place obviously don’t care enough to have done something about this. Not the sake of the fans cause the fans are worse than a roller coaster ride in the middle of a tornado. For the sake of the student athletes and the memories they have yet to make and success they are yet to experience and potential they have within.

        Best of luck to Coach Gomez and the San Benito Football Program. Looking forward to a bright and positive future to come. God’s blessings and favor be with you.

          • Colleen on March 17, 2014 at 3:18 pm
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          I agree we had a few who trained year around but a few don’t make a team. We have no idea if any coach in the the last 16 years have tried to do what you just said but hit a brick wall or what? Or were just there for the money in one case I know we had a coach there for his own son and when the son graduated he was gone. We have some talent in the middle schools and we need to build on it and not take back players who have quit only to be let come back as starters just because they are good but don’t want to practice. Good luck to all.

    • RosalindaG.Garcia on March 14, 2014 at 9:17 pm
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    You get what you vote for! After the last school board elections it has been downhill with the board’s actions; especially with actions from the SB majority four. I hope that SBCISD VOTERS will re-elect Oscar Medrano and Hector Leal and along with Anna Cruz they will bring back pride, wisdom, trust, integrity, and educated decision making!

    SBCISD still has no superintendent. If they posted the job tomorrow, I wonder who and how many persons would apply knowing the history of the decision making of majority four?

    Now you know the rest of the story……

      • Colleen on March 15, 2014 at 5:00 am
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      Something we should all think about. I don’t know much about the “old school board ” never had a problem but dealing these last two years I don’t like what I’ve delt with. Now true I don’t have nothing personally to go by the past, but right now it’s like we don’t know what will happen next ? I’m not saying everything was bad but what I felt was has been. I heard out with the old and in with the new but the new came as a group if friend that seemed to have the power to do what they want. I don’t want to be personal but they made promises to get in and I seen them do what they wanted and went against the norm. I thought ok good then when I went in with something similar : first they never gave a decision they listen asked question acted interested and waisted my time by saying : we just stand behind they also person said before you got here Goodby? So I guess I wasn’t owed anything. Now Oscar M. I would see him out in the stores game … I never new him personally but always got a smile and how are you. I do know we have new people running I’ve talked to one and he was all about the kids. I’m not sure who seat he’s trying to take but he will have my vote. I’m just glad to say my last child graduates this year and I will never have to deal with them. These last two years seem think a life time and my kids started graduating in 2000. So if that what you mean about “these four” which I heard a lot about YES we need them out.

    • richard on March 14, 2014 at 8:14 pm
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    if you google Lytle football Coach Gomez, you will find a press release from Lytle wishing Coach Gomez the best in future endeavors. His resignation from Lytle January 1, 2014. It goes on to say that Lytle has hired the Champion firm to help hire the new head coach for Lytle. You get what you pay for. I agree with your # 8!!

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