LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Lubbock Christian University grad student Aaron Peckham thinks Loop 289 needs a name change, and more than 800 others agree.
“It was after their second championship victory that I started getting this idea in my head...one day we’re going to name the Loop after that guy,” Peckham said.
Peckham started a petition seven months ago to name Loop 289 after LCU Women’s Basketball Coach Steve Gomez.
The petition picked up speed after the Lady Chaps won their third Division II title this year, with more than 800 signatures.
It wouldn’t be the first major roadway named after a coach, with a city ordinance designating the Marsha Sharp Freeway in 2000.
“She won a national championship with the Lady Raiders and won some other honors with that. Coach Gomez has won, well by the time I started it, it was two, now it’s three,” Peckham said.
While Gomez says he doesn’t want to dishonor those pushing the petition, he thinks the idea is a funny joke.
“I think there’s a lot of misguided people in Lubbock or maybe my mom’s behind it all,” Gomez said.
Peckham would disagree, calling Gomez the prime example of the best Lubbock has to offer, on and off the court.
“He’s a great leader, a godly man, a role model for people around Lubbock that I think we could all look up to,” Peckham said.
Gomez says he appreciates the community support but sometimes the importance we put on sports can be over the top.
“A Lady Chap thing or an LCU, those things are great, but just that individual attention really draws away from really what the unity is all about,” Gomez said.
While others have suggested naming a city road close to LCU in his honor, Coach Gomez has a different idea.
“If maybe there’s an alleyway in some backstreet somewhere or a bathroom stall, that would be plenty,” Gomez said.
“This is farther than I expected to get with it, and I just want to keep on going with it. Hopefully get right up to Mayor Pope’s desk,” Peckham said.
TxDOT allows cities to assign a street name to a portion of highway within its limits.
The City of Lubbock would have to enact an ordinance or resolution and send it in for review.