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Meet Coach Cirilo Ojeda | Coach of the Week

Week 6
Aldine High School
Years Coaching: 19

How long have you been coaching? Where did your career begin? College\university you attended?

This is my 19th year as a Coach and Educator. I began my coaching career as a middle school coach in Pasadena ISD where I was able to eventually coach at my Alma Mater in Pasadena HS as the Offensive Coordinator that began my path to becoming a Head Coach. I attended the University of Houston for my Bachelor's Degree where I was a member of Omega Delta Phi Fraternity, Inc. I also attend Lamar University for my Master's Degree in Education. 

Why do you coach? (share coaching philosophy\why you decided to coach on high school level, etc.)

I Coach because my Dad is a youth football coach and sports were a large part of my life growing up. I know what it gave me with coaches, teammates, and the community. I felt a calling to carry on that legacy and went into the Alternative Certification program to become a teacher and Coach. I had amazing veteran mentors that helped me grow as a Coach and learn from Coach Mike Ellisor and Coach Wes Bryant. It showed me that what we do is more than just the practices and the games, but an opportunity to give young men and women guidance, discipline and a way to approach life. I truly believe that everyday there is a moment where a coach can improve someone's day and give that little bit of presence or advice to help impact positive change and that's why I coach. 

What is the most rewarding\fulfilling part of your job?

The most fulfilling part of my job is the look in our student athlete's eyes when they feel successful. To me success is built moment by moment and whether we are in the classroom, on the field or in the community, we know that helping others and being there for each other is what we are striving for. Winning in a football game is a byproduct of winning in everything else that we do. Seeing a freshman grow to be a senior and knowing where they started and where they finish high school as a senior is the reward. Seeing former players have successful careers and beautiful families is all I need as a Coach.

In your opinion, what is the most misunderstood thing about the coaching profession?

The most misunderstood thing is that the coaching profession is that a coach is just coaching a sport. It's about all the other things that nobody sees with sweeping, mopping, doing laundry, and the list goes on. The grind is real and kids need you 24/7 and finding that balance for work and home is the greatest adjustment. Having solid mentors and a staff that supports each other makes the experience even better. Being qualified to coach a Position, be a Coordinator, or a Head Coach is the minimum requirement for the position. You have to be an expert and know how to manage everything that goes with the position. 

Please share the importance of what your staff/ players are doing for your community?

We are in year 2 of our community involvement and in year 1 we focused on keeping our campus beautiful. We worked to clean up trash around our parking lots, Bill Smith stadium, the hallways and the cafeteria. We help tutor each other in our study halls and help mentor the underclassmen with their academics and behavior. The H-Town Dolphins have been established practicing at AHS and our football players have helped demonstrate drills and helped at some of their weekly camps. We also have the Northside Texans who practice here at AHS and look forward to our continued partnerships with our future Mustangs. Our football players attend the middle school games for the schools that they played for and help support them on the sideline and encourage them throughout the game. We participate in the elementary school's field days where all of our sports participate and enjoy working with the younger kids. The next phase of our community involvement is literacy days for our elementary feeder programs, dress up days with tying neckties, food drives, and much more. Community service is the light that we use to shine upon Aldine.