Up for the challenge: Juan Rodriguez introduced as new LHS football coach
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Despite the team’s recent struggles, the Lubbock High Westerners football program has a distinguished history which includes state titles from 1939, 1951, and 1952.
Even as Juan Rodriguez signed off to become Lubbock High’s new football coach, Lubbock ISD school board president Zach Brady commended the new coach for his willingness to lead the black & gold program.
“Coach, welcome! The job you have taken on is not an easy one, and it is one that brings with it a fair amount of pressure,” Brady said while speaking from the school board dais.
For Rodriguez, the challenge itself is one that piqued his interest, especially since his previous school, Corpus Christi Carroll, was in a similar predicament. The construction of a new high school caused a shift in enrollment, where many students changed schools - including some of the best athletes.
“Having come from a particular situation where I was exposed to so many different obstacles and hurdles, and to try to gather a program back that was definitely a premiere at one time and you lose an enrollment of over a thousand kids in a matter of four years. So you’re definitely presented with staffing and loss of enrollment challenges,” Rodriguez said.
When it comes to X’s and O’s, the South Texas native says his background is coaching defense. However, he has already spotted some explosive playmakers on the Westerners’ offense.
“I’m excited,” he said. “I know there’s some great linemen coming back. I know that I’ve done some research, that we have some stability at our running back situation.”
As much as every team across Texas fights for victories on Friday nights, the new coach says he is aiming to see just as many wins away from the gridiron.
“We’re here to do service, and to perform services when we can, and to help where we’re needed,” Rodriguez said. “That’s what we’re hoping to do... is to get kids ready for college, and hopefully they can come back and be great community members here in the future.”
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