Cy-Fair was "way of life" for Pustejovsky who retires after 39 years
As high school football teams have evolved their offenses to match the "air-raid"-style offensive units that we see at the college level, Cy-Fair has stayed true to its roots.
Run the ball. Play solid defense. Win.
"I think offensively it has changed somewhat with the spread and people throwing it around," Cy-Fair coach Ed Pustejovsky, who has coached since 1981, said. "But I think the heart of what you do is getting kids to execute and do the things you're asking them to do. That's what coaching is. There's a lot of good Xs and Os but if you can get your kids to play at a high level and with a lot of energy it's still old school stuff - you still have to block and tackle people."
Pustejovsky has been the leader to that consistent brand of hard-nose, old-school football in the city of Houston. The 16th-year head coach has decided 2019 was his last season, announcing his retirement from coaching on Friday afternoon from a school he has been at his entire career.
"It's a special place," Pustejovsky said in a phone interview with VYPE. "Graduated three of my kids and fourth one is a senior now. It's just been a way of life, hasn't really been a job. It's been a great place for us."
A 4-yr @AggieFootball letterman, Ed Pustejovsky's coaching resume:@ghfcahouston Hall of Honor '14@AllAmericaGame coach '17
7x district coach of the year
3x Texans Coach of the week@HoustonTDClub top coach in '17
6A DII champ (15-0)
138 wins, 57 losses#txhsfb #CFISDspirit pic.twitter.com/ICGBYOqaia
— Angel Verdejo Jr. (@ahverdejo) January 24, 2020
Pustejovsky graduated from Spring Branch High School and then went to Texas A&M, where he played on the offensive line for the Aggies for four years.
After his playing career, Pustejovsky got into coaching at Cy-Fair High School in 1981 and was an assistant coach under Bob Riley, Warren Trahan and Ronny Peacock until 2004, when he became the head coach.
So, did Pustejovsky ever think about going anywhere else over the years?
He was set to be a lifer at Cy-Fair.
"I've been asked that, I'm one of many," Pustejovsky said. "I'm the last of the original group to retire. I had some coaches that worked with me for 38 or 37 years. It's been a great place. Administration has been very supportive. Athletic administration has been very supportive. Just the traditions and everything as well. It's been a great place to be and raise a family."
After taking over as the head coach in 2004, Pustejovsky guided Cy-Fair to seven district championships, 13 playoff appearances, was named the district coach of the year seven times, Touchdown Club of Houston Coach of the Year in 2017 and inducted into the Greater Houston Football Coaches Hall of Honor in 2014.
Out of all his accomplishments, including posting a 138-57 overall coaching record, the one that stands above the rest is guiding Cy-Fair to the 2017 Class 6A Division II State Championship - the first in program and Cy-Fair ISD history.
"You have to put that way up there for sure," Pustejovsky said. "Coaches, players, administration and community, everybody was a part of that. There were a lot of players before that that built the foundation for Cy-Fair. Kids have responded well to try and to uphold that."
Cy-Fair will enter the 2020 season seeking its fourth-straight 10-plus win season - Pustejovsky had seven of those in his 16-year career - and a 11th-straight playoff berth.
"Hopefully that will continue," Pustejovsky said about the success of the program. "I think the program is in pretty good shape. Of course you have kids that come in and go out but I think it's in good shape and the coaching staff that's there will keep it moving forward and in the right direction."
So what's next for Pustejovsky?
The coach will have a little more time on his hands from mid-July to mid-December, considering Cy-Fair was playing usually past Thanksgiving. Pustejovsky's wife is set to retire this year as well and they have time to figure something out.
When the summer and fall months roll around, the thing that Pustejovsky will miss the most once two-a-days start and the lights turn on for the first game of the year is the camaraderie with the coaches and the players.
"The camaraderie that you have with the coaches, it's a family situation with our guys and the female staff as well," he said. "The day to day and the players. I'm not going far, I'll keep up with them and be able to watch them.
"I'll slip in there."