Coaches Corner: Garrett Gates of Huffman Softball (Podcast Included)
When it comes to sports, Garrett Gates has seen a lot. Having played at C.E. King High School, Gates continued his baseball career at Sam Houston State in nearby Huntsville.
It was during this transition period between college and starting a career that Gates literally fell into his first coaching position.
"I knew I could be good at it (coaching) but had no idea how to get there. I substitute taught for awhile and fell in love with teaching, I knew deep down I always wanted to be a coach."
Gates would coach baseball for 15 years, first at his alma mater C.E. King and then moving onto Baytown Sterling, Crosby, and Kingwood Park. After three years at KP he decided to make the transition to the softball field, accepting the assistant JV at Hargrave High School in 2014.
"Our family had always lived in Huffman so I made a call to coach Mac (Mike McEachern) and he mentioned he had an assistant softball position available. It was totally unique to me, I didn't know god had a plan for me but it worked out really well."
Gates's first year as Hargrave JV softball coach in 2014 would be a special one as the Lady Falcons would go on to win their first state title. Gates would take over as head softball coach in 2017.
As with most coaches building their career resume' Gates had the unique experience of working with both gender of athletes in similar sports, male and female.
"It was a little different for me switching from boys to girls," said Gates.
"Having started with boys and coaching them for a number of years, but answering that question now is I would say that you coach them the same. You coach up kids and you do right by them, teach them right from wrong and how to make them better people."
The town of Huffman brings with it a small town feel (population: 12,397) but annually competes well within the 4A sports classification.
"The Huffman community brings a lot of support to all the sports," said Gates.
"There are not many people driving up and down the roads coming Friday night, they're all at the game."