Industrial coach Brandon Karl hits the century mark in wins
Dec. 12, 2011 at 6:12 a.m.
Updated Dec. 13, 2011 at 6:13 a.m.
CLAY WHITTINGTON :: PREP HOOPS
As a high school freshman, Brandon Karl knew he wanted to be a coach.
But he could not have predicted it would be at his alma mater, and he never expected success would come so quickly.
In fact, the 1999 Industrial graduate was oblivious when he reached a career milestone as the Cobras' girls basketball team defeated Hallettsville Sacred Heart in the opening round of the Cobra Classic on Dec. 1, earning the young coach his 100th victory.
"I really didn't know until a friend of mine shot me a text," Karl said.
His rapid run to the century mark was propelled by last season's 24-8 campaign, including a 9-1 run to the District 26-2A championship.
"I'm really proud to be a part of (Karl's 100th win)," senior guard Kenzie Turk said. "We can always remember this year, and I'm just happy I could help him acheive that goal."
Over his first four seasons, Karl averaged 23 wins and just nine losses, although, he says the players deserve a lot of the credit.
"I've been real fortunate," Karl said. "My first year, I stepped into a good position, and I've had great players.
"I've only had 15 seniors, and all of them have been special. That's why I do it, and they've done everything I've asked."
Not only does Karl, who is 10-4 to begin his fifth season, love coaching, but he loves doing it at Industrial.
As a student, the Cobras' multisport athlete ran track, played football, baseball, tennis and, of course, basketball, advancing to the state tournament twice, before attending college at A&M Kingsville.
"This is my home, this is where I want to be," Karl said, noting he will have to be run out of town to leave his position.
Entering Tuesday's home game against Ganado, Karl's overall record is at 105-40 with three playoff appearances.
Karl, however, has yet to experience a run to the state tournament.
After missing the postseason in his first year, Karl made his deepest run, reaching the 2009 regional semifinals before losing to Salado by three points, 44-41.
In 2010, Industrial lost in the area round. Last year, the Cobras were eliminated in their first game after earning a bi-district bye.
"I'm a competitor, and I want to win everything I do," Karl said. "That's just the way I am, and the players are like that as well.
"That's what we do, we want to win."
Junior guard Ma Kayla Lenamon believes the team unity fostered by Karl will be key to reaching the state tournament.
"We just need to come together as a team even more," Lenamon said.
Although winning is always the goal, Karl has a realistic view of his career, and he is not willing to allow total victories or postseason performances to determine his overall success as a coach.
"I want to win, but I want to win the right way and try to give these girls something they can take and use later in life," Karl said. "That's my big goal. I hope they can take something from this."
And if players keep giving victories in return then Karl could be in line for a few more milestones along the way.
While a massive gap remains between himself and the all-time winningest high school girls basketball coach Leta Andrews, who amassed 1,328 wins in her 48-year career, Karl, at his current pace, would surpass Andrews in approximately 51 years.
Sure, it would take a near miracle to see everything play out to perfection over the next half century, but one cannot break such a lofty record without winning games; lots of games.
Luckily, Karl's teams have a knack for earning victories.
Clay Whittington is the assistant sports editor for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at email@example.com, or comment on this column at www.AdvoSports.com.