This week, our Lockr spotlight is on Lubbock High School, Jason Strunk (@WestTxCoach), the current Head Football Coach and Athletic Director for the Texas 4A ‘Westerners. In only his 3rd season as HC with Lubbock High, Coach Strunk has led the Westerners to their first playoff appearance since 1975.
A former Assistant at Purdue University was recently awarded the “Semper Fi Coaches Award” from the U.S Marine Corps and Glazier Football camps honoring coaches who exemplify the core beliefs of the Marine Corps and display faithfulness to the mission of their team.
Lockr: Who would you consider to be your coaching mentor?
JS: I have two mentors who really helped shape me into the coach I am today. The late Teko Johnson was the best coach I have ever been with. He knew me for one week and promoted me to DC. We became the best of friends. He taught me so much about the game, planning and not giving up on kids.
The second is Chris Gerhard. He was a father-like figure to me. My mother passed away in high school and Chris was one of our coaches.
He took me under his wing. He became a head coach and called me and basically said I had no choice but to coach with him. It changed my life. I cannot thank those two men enough.
Lockr: Your First Coaching Opportunity?
JS: Again, Chris Gerhard gave me a shot. Teko Johnson opened several more doors for me. Coaching high school spring boarded me into the college ranks with Mike Donnelly at Muhlenberg College. That lead me to Florida where I became HC at Plant City HS.
From there I went on to be an Assistant Coach at Purdue. Now I am in the great state of Texas! My career has taken me all over.
Lockr: Advice for younger coaches trying to get into the profession?
JS: Never, ever stop learning. Do not be threatened by coaches who know more than you. Instead, embrace it and pick their brains.
Lockr: What motivates you to be a coach?
JS: I love sports and competition. Coaching allows you to stay in the game. More importantly, it allows you to build relationships and change lives.
We are in the best profession in the world! I knew from an early age I wanted to be a coach.