New Bloomington coach ready to work
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BLOOMINGTON - Randy Perez does not want his players to forget the past. He wants them to keep it fresh on their minds.
Perez visited with the Bloomington athletes on Wednesday afternoon for the first time since being named athletic director and head football coach on Monday night.
Nothing Perez saw gave him pause about leaving Class 4A Corpus Christi Ray to take over a Class 2A program that hasn't had a winning season since 1998 and hasn't made the playoffs since 1999.
"It's always been my goal to be an athletic director," Perez said. "When you're at those bigger schools, you're basically just running a campus and you're really not in charge of that.
"For me, it was an opportunity one to be an athletic director and the other is to get my kids involved in a situation where they're going to be involved in everything."
Perez brought his son Corbin, who will be in eighth grade next season, and spoke briefly with the athletes during their athletic period.
"You've got to start with the basics," Perez said. "You're teaching the fundamentals of football and not necessarily getting into too much of the details. Let's work on the fundamentals, blocking, tackling and getting kids to run to the football."
Perez will be Bloomington's seventh head football coach in the last eight seasons and he understands he must win his players' trust.
"I don't know what the other coaches have said," Perez said. "I don't talk to people about how long I'm going to be in a place. You just can't do that. I think what you need to do is everyday you're in a place make it count.
"I talked to the kids about 'you don't know me, but you know each other. You're not playing for me, you're playing for one another. You've grown up together. There's a bond there.' Right now I'm in the process of developing a relationship with the kids. I understand their feelings and where they're coming from."
Perez's father, Ines, was a football coach and athletic director. Perez worked for 10 seasons as an assistant under Victoria West head coach Leonard McAngus at Gonzales and Justin Northwest.
"He is a detailed-oriented guy," McAngus said. "He's going to do the little things right. I think he cares about kids. He's a heck of a coach. I hated to lose him when I did lose him because we worked together for so long. You've got to move on."
Perez was aware of Bloomington's struggles when he took the job. The Bobcats will carry a 37-game district losing streak into the upcoming season.
"I don't think you need to put the past behind you," Perez said. "I think sometimes you need to remember what's happened in the past. If you can remember what's happened in the past and what you did to get in that position a lot of times you can make adjustments to get out of the past."
Perez is hoping to see improvement on the field next season, but he wants to keep the goals realistic.
"I think in a situation like this you don't talk about wins and losses," Perez said. "You talk about having the opportunity to win a football game and work for that to happen.
"You've got to compete and I think that's going to be the focus. That's what should be the focus. If your kids can compete, you'll always have a chance."
Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.