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Coach G named head coach, AD

Principal, players--even the head custodian--all say Gammerdinger is the right man to lead Mac football

MacJournalism Sports Team

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Defensive coordinator Thomas Gammerdinger has accepted an offer to become the next head football coach and athletic director at McCallum. It is an outcome that has been anticipated since former head coach Charles Taylor announced that he was leaving Mac for Pflugerville on Feb. 14.

The football booster club Tweeted on Friday afternoon that Gammerdinger had accepted the job, and principal Mike Garrison confirmed with MacJournalism that he had recommended that Gammerdinger be the next coach and AD.

Madison Olsen
Coach G instructs his defense early in the game during McCallum’s 55-0 victory over Crockett on Oct. 20 at House Park. Photo by Madison Olsen.

“Coach Gammerdinger is the right man for the job,” Garrison told MacJournalism on Saturday. “He knows football, he loves McCallum, he loves his players, and with his leadership, the McCallum football program will continue to be successful.”

He knows football, he loves McCallum, he loves his players, and with his leadership, the McCallum football program will continue to be successful.”

— Principal Mike Garrison

The booster club echoed that sentiment.

“He played a huge role in the team’s recent successes,” the booster club said via Twitter, “and he’ll have the opportunity to build on that foundation. The program is in very good hands.”

As defensive coordinator, Gammerdinger oversaw a vast improvement in the team’s defense during its historic 2017 regular season and playoff run. After giving up 130 points in their first five games of the season, the Knight defense held its next nine opponents (including four playoff teams) to 72 points. In the season’s signature win–a 20-7 victory over 2016 5A D2 state finalist Calallen–the defense had perhaps its finest hour.

“[The statistical improvement] is a testament to these kids and their commitment to the process of getting better, and it was really, really impressive,” Gammerdinger said.

At the football banquet in January, Gammerdinger was quick to give his players the credit for the turnaround.

“You really can’t say enough about these kids. It’s just a really special group of people. They did everything we ever asked them to do. We always talk about how on defense we want to play with effort, accountability and toughness, and these guys, they lived it. It’s rare to meet a group of young people who are as committed to something as these guys were.”

Dave Winter
Coach G rallies defensive lineman Jack Switzer and his defensive teammates on the sideline during the third quarter of McCallum’s 56-13 victory over Austin High at House Park on Oct. 5. Photo by Dave Winter

Gammerdinger, or Coach G to his players and students, may be correct to praise his students for their commitment to getting better. But to a man, these same players have praised Gammerdinger for teaching them how to do so.  In postseason comments, the senior defensive players who are playing on Saturdays next year have all credited his role in providing them that opportunity.

I don’t think I could ever thank Coach G, Coach Osorio, and everyone else enough for what they did for me.

— Senior linebacker Jackson Masters

Linebacker Jackson Masters credited Gammerdinger and his other Mac coaches for helping him grow from a scrawny freshman special teams player into a senior defensive leader who will play Division 1 football at Texas State next year. He especially praised Coach G for running the offseason weight program that helped him get bigger and strong between his junior and senior years.

“I don’t think I could ever thank Coach G, Coach Osorio, and everyone else enough for what they did for me,” Masters said. “G, Osorio, and Stancik helped me develop into a good football player and they are like father figures to me. I love them. I only got this type of opportunity because of what the coaches, my teammates, my parents and what McCallum did for me.”

Tackle Judah Copeland expressed the same gratitude when he talked about his opportunity to play college football at Harding University next season.

“[The coaches] gave me the most they can give to a freshman,” Copeland said. “Mac gave me the worth ethic it really takes to be successful doing anything really. Shout out to Coach G for that. That man is one of the hardest working men I have ever been around.”

Dave Winter
Coach G exchanges a smile with Judah Copeland as the cheer squad and football players sing the school song after beating Anderson in the 2017 Taco Shack Bowl, 48-28, on Aug. 31 at House Park. Photo by Dave Winter.

Coach G’s work ethic was praised repeatedly by his players. He will inherit a program that will lose 24 seniors to graduation, so the challenge of maintaining last year’s performance standard will be considerable. But based on the comments of those who know him well, it is certain that no coach is going to work any harder than he will to build a successful team.

Senior safety and Fighting Knight Award winner Will Loewen and AP First-Team All-State running back Alexander Julian joined Copeland and Masters in marveling at Coach G’s work ethic.

He is one of the hardest working Knights I have ever seen.”

— Head custodian Daniel Sena

It’s not just players who recognize that work that Gammerdinger puts into his job.

“He is one of the hardest working Knights I have ever seen,” head custodian Daniel Sena said in an Instagram reply to MacJournalism’s post about Gammerdinger’s hire.

But Gammerdinger’s willingness to work hard is equaled by a humility that have endeared him to his players, students and peers on the faculty.

“In the last couple of months, people keep coming up to me to thank me what they think I did for them or what they think that I did for their kid, but the thanks should go to these kids,” Gammerdinger said at the year-end football banquet. “They took us on the ride of a lifetime. These memories I have, I’ll never forget them so I thank them.”

Enough with the compliments, Coach G would probably say at this point: it’s time to get to work.

Below are some archival postgame interviews  with Coach G from the 2016 season. Videos by Joseph Cardenas.

MacJournalism’s Joseph Cardenas interviews Coach Gammerdinger after the Knights defeated Kerrville Tivy in the opening round of the 2016 playoffs at House Park.

MacJournalism’s Joseph Cardenas interviews Coach Gammerdinger after the Knights defeated Akins in 2016 to improve the team’s record to 4-0 heading into district play in 2016.

3 Comments

3 Responses to “Coach G named head coach, AD”

  1. Dewayne Bryant on March 12th, 2018 12:42 pm

    Coach G is a hero!

    #macfootball2013
    #classof2014

    [Reply]

  2. Graydon on March 28th, 2018 1:56 pm

    This is a great news story. Anyone looking for updates and information on this subject got exactly what they were looking for. Thanks for the immense detail!

    [Reply]

  3. Lindsey Plotkin on March 29th, 2018 11:52 am

    I love how all of the players and coaches and even custodians recognize Coach G as a hardworking coach who loves to help people.

    [Reply]

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Coach G named head coach, AD