VYPE 411: Get to know Aldine High's new head coach Cirilo Ojeda
You can officially consider Aldine football "under construction".
The lead contractor for the rebuild of Mustang football, Cirilo Ojeda, is ready to get to work on the northside of Houston after being officially named the 12th head coach of Aldine football on Thursday of last week.
Ojeda comes from Sharpstown where he helped guide the Apollos to snapping a 21-game losing streak and this past year going 3-7 overall with the program.
VYPE caught up with Ojeda for a Q&A to get to know the new Mustangs’ head man a little better.
VYPE: What attracted you to the Aldine High job?
Ojeda: I worked at Aldine Eisenhower, so I’ve seen how the district is run and how things are done. I think it’s a good opportunity for me to change the culture at Aldine senior into a program that’s competitive.
VYPE: Aldine is kind of where Sharpstown was when you took over, do you see similarities?
Ojeda: I did see a lot of parallels. I talked to Coach Thompson about that and the things we were able to do at Sharpstown with the situation it was in and being able to turn things around and slowly start to climb to be more successful. It’s very hard for kids when they haven’t won a high school football game their entire career. Being able to do that meant a lot to the kids.
VYPE: How do you go about changing a culture?
Ojeda: All we talk about is us. All we talk about is what we can do and what we can control. We don’t worry about what anyone else has or does. What we see other people doing especially on social media. The number one thing is being under construction, locking everything down and focusing on us. When we focus on us, we’re going to see what can happen. Walking into Sharpstown there were eight kids in the program, and we built it to 30 for that first season. That’s all we kept doing was grow. It was about growing the program and the numbers.
VYPE: Sharpstown was your first head coaching job. What did you learn about yourself in those two seasons?
Ojeda: The one thing that I found for myself was the accountability of being the final decision-maker on everything. Also, guiding the program and being the person that creates the path for everything that we do. I learned that you must be a solution-finder. You can’t just look at what the situation is and be OK or complacent with it. You must go out there and find solutions to make everything better.
VYPE: Aldine was a power in North Houston in the 80s, including winning a state championship in 1990. Is it the goal to return this program back to the glory days?
Ojeda: That’s definitely the goal. In order to move forward with anything, you have to know your past before you can know where you’re going to go in the future. That’s the plan, it’s going to take a lot of groundwork. Being in the community and building the trust in the community … That’ll be the first initiative that I have is building the numbers and establishing a report with the community.
VYPE: You also will be the Athletic Coordinator helping oversee the other programs, how excited are you for that new role?
Ojeda: I think it’s just the perfect timing for that. I’ve been coaching for 17 years and building my leadership abilities and leading by example. Now, I have the opportunity to share the things I know with other head coaches and talk about the way I’ve been able to create positive change and show growth in every program that I’ve been a part of. Being able to share that with them and hearing what talents they have and seeing where they are in their career and helping fill in any gaps to help the be successful. Because I really believe in shared leadership, allowing people to do their job and providing the support for them to do it.