Hermleigh head coach Sammy Winters is a self described kid, but he is serious about being the Cardinals coach and athletic director.
Sammy Winters said, “Many years ago I felt a calling that I had to stay here. I had to be here. It was going to be home. This is year nine. We’ve had a lot of success in those nine years. It’s only getting better.”
This is Winters second stint as the football coach. He was fired once, hired back as an assistant, and took the job again when the head coach quit in August.
The football coaches at schools like Abilene High, Cooper, Sweetwater, and others are football coaches only. At Hermleigh, Winters is the head football coach, the head boys basketball coach, and the head softball coach.
Winters added, “We played in the regional final in basketball. That was Saturday night. Monday night I was sitting on a bucket calling pitches for the softball team. I definitely spend more time up here than I do at home. That speaks volumes about my wife, the family, and the kids and the support. Her family’s from here.”
He’s good at all of them. The football team won district. The boys basketball team went to regionals, and the softball team advanced to the state tournament.
Winters said, “I can’t expect my kids to work hard if I don’t work hard myself. I think that they’ll vouch for me that there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t work hard for them and try to take our game to the next level.”
Another thing about coaching a small school. You are hands on at practice. If you don’t play quarterback, you play running back or linebacker or db. You have to be out there with the kids, and when you are hands on the players get to know you.
Alex Wonderlich said, “He’s awesome. He’s like a second dad to me. He’s been there since Day 1. He’s helped me.”
Luis Esparza said, “A lot of coaches around here, not just around here, but everywhere, that don’t work as hard as hard as he does. He’s up here day and night working for us, so we can get better.”
Patrick Carr said, “I love him, and he’s pretty straight forward with everyone. He don’t baby us around. He always says what’s on his mind. He’s honest with us.”
Winters is a coach, and the thrill he gets is something he wishes everyone got at their job.
Winters said, “We joke as coaches. We put the headset on, and we are fixin’ to kick off. If we could, some how, channel that feeling into a jar and sell it, we’d all be millionaires. That’s why we all do it.”
Sammy Winters is the Abilene Teachers Federal Credit Union Coach of the Week.