SET coaches salute McCarty, Theriot
Steve McCarty, left, and Randy Theriot, former head football coaches at West Orange-Stark and Orangefield, respectively, were inducted into the Southeast Texas Coaches Association Hall of Honor Saturday in Beaumont.
By Dave Rogers
For The Record
Steve McCarty and Randy Theriot, former head football coaches at West Orange-Stark and Orangefield, respectively, were inducted into the Southeast Texas Coaches Association Hall of Honor Saturday in Beaumont.
Cornel Thompson of West Orange-Stark was honored as 2016 football coach of the year and Orangefield natives T.J. Reed and Greg Peveto were honored as assistant coach of the year and referee of the year, respectively, at the luncheon event at the Holiday Inn Suites ballroom.
Other awards announced Saturday included: Dena Adkins, Little Cypress-Mauriceville, boys cross country coach of the year; Steve Griffith, LC-M, baseball coach of the year; Bart Williams, LC-M, girls golf coach of the year; John Davis, Orangefield, boys powerlifting coach of the year; and Terry Joe Ramsey, West Orange-Stark, girls powerlifting coach of the year.
McCarty, already a member of the Southland Conference Hall of Fame for more than two decades in athletic department leadership at Stephen F. Austin State, called the 14 years early in his career he spent in the Golden Triangle “some of the best days in my life.”
Introduced by former WO-S assistant coach Mark Foreman, McCarty gave a special nod to the four years he spent getting the athletics program off the ground at West Orange-Stark.
“I had the great challenge of being a part of the merger of West Orange and Orange Stark High,” he said. “We started something that has not only endured, but has excelled at the highest level.”
McCarty’s Mustangs went 29-10-1, winning the District 22-4A championship to earn the school’s first playoff berth in 1979. The Mustangs have appeared in 80 playoff games since, with the teams winning four state championships, two each for coaches Dan Hooks and Thompson.
“It is with deep appreciation I accept this awesome honor,” McCarty said.
“One of my favorite sayings is: ‘Dreams come true when dreamers come through.’ Today, my dream came true.”
Theriot, who led Orangefield to three straight playoff seasons before leaving to head the program at Beaumont Kelly, which advanced to the TAPPS state semis in 2000, was introduced by his son Chris, an assistant coach at Nederland High.
“I do what I do today because of him,” Chris Theriot said.
Randy Theriot said the SETCA honor was very emotional for him.
“I’ve cried three times in my life, once at my dad’s funeral, when we lost an infant grandchild in 2014, and the third time when I got this phone call,” Theriot said.
“Never in a million years – and I coached a long time – would I have thought I’d be at this podium today accepting this great honor.
“This is a big day for me.”
After playing at Nederland High, Theriot began his Golden Triangle coaching career as a junior high coach at Vidor and followed Ronnie Thompson to Port Arthur Jefferson in time to coach in the 1980 state championship game at Texas Stadium, then home of the Dallas Cowboys.
But in a career that saw him log most of his time as an assistant coach, Theriot said he learned that bright lights weren’t the most important things.
“You don’t have to win a championship to be a champion,” he said at the banquet.
“I used to think it was all about lifting a trophy. Then I realized that trophies carry dust, while memories last forever.
“Don’t let winning a game define you. Build relationships with people you’re with on a daily basis. It’s those relationships you will cherish for the rest of your life.”
Other Hall of Honor inductees Saturday were longtime Kountze volleyball coach Angela Cruse and former Lamar University women’s athletic director Belle Mead Holm.
Cruse put together an all-time record of 632-214 in 24 seasons at Kountze and five at West Hardin. Her Kountze teams won four state championships in seven trips to the state tournament.
She joined her mother, former Kountze girls’ coaching legend, Joyce Wilson, in the SETCA Hall of Honor, making them the first mother-daughter (or father-son) inductees.
Cruse’s sister Rosetta Aaron, a longtime girls’ coach in Southeast Texas, is now coaching in Louisiana.
Holm, who died in 2010 at 84, was a women’s sports pioneer, first at Odessa College, and, from 1962-81, at Lamar.
She started the first women’s athletics programs at Lamar, coaching women’s tennis and golf, and establishing the volleyball, basketball, swimming and track and field teams.
She was a founding member of the TAIAW, the Texas Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, which spun off to become the national AIAW, which ultimately became the women’s NCAA.