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R.T. Gonzales '12


R.T. Gonzales

When R.T. Gonzales ’12, arrived on campus as head football coach and athletic director at Uvalde High School in June 2017, he brought a little bit of Pug Parris with him.

Gonzales credits a lot of professors and coaches for his success, especially by landing such a prestigious job at his old high school. But none drew greater praise than Parris, professor of kinesiology.

“The amount of enthusiasm she shows,” Gonzales said, “that’s what I try to carry when I step on the field.”

The admiration and appreciation is mutual. Parris said she is proud, but not surprised, that her former student is so successful. At McMurry, Gonzales had a positive attitude and incredible work ethic, doing well in the classroom, playing on the football team, and working at a United Supermarkets store in his spare time. “He truly prioritized his life and was able to do so much as a student,” Parris said.

Since leaving McMurry, Gonzales, 28, has earned two master’s degrees, one in education and school administration and one in science, health and human performance. His bachelor’s degree from McMurry was in business administration, with a minor in kinesiology. “I just always thought that I would try and make a lot of money right out of college,” Gonzales said.

Instead, he followed his heart and got into coaching by getting an alternative teaching certification. One of his former coaches in Uvalde, who had moved up to a middle school principal, called him about a job opening as a coach and physical education teacher. “It just kind of fell in my lap,” Gonzales said.

After a coaching stint at another school, Gonzales returned to Uvalde, a Class 5A school, as athletic director and head football coach. In addition to coaching, he oversees an athletic program with about 15 varsity sports. “I’m extremely blessed,” Gonzales said.

Another thing Gonzales brought to his new job that he learned at McMurry is the importance of building connections with fans, students and the community. Parris wasn’t surprised at that either.

“People with good hearts and willingness to work hard make the best servant leaders,” she said, “and that’s what we’re all about at McMurry.”

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