By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (April 19, 2015) — Opportunity has come knocking, and Garrett Mabry has decided to answer the door.
Mabry, a defensive assistant who has spent the last seven years at Stephenville, is leaving to become defensive coordinator at Canton in east Texas.
“I’m pretty fired up, It’s an opportunity for growth,” said Mabry, a Tarleton State University graduate who became an assistant at Stephenville in 2008 after previously performing his student-teaching and coaching at SISD.
Mabry joins a Canton staff led by head coach Robert Ivey, the father of former Stephenville track and field and cross country standout Ashtin Ivey.
“He’s known across Texas as a great defensive guy, and to be his defensive coordinator and learn from him while also having the opportunity to take the reigns of the defense there, it’s a great opportunity for me,” said Mabry, who most recently coached varsity outside linebackers and was head coach of the ninth grade ‘B’ team for Stephenville.
Mabry is finishing the school year at SHS, before moving to the Canton area along with his wife, Simone, and son, Boyd, 2. Mabry also teaches economics at SHS.
“It’s real hard to leave Stephenville. I accepted the job, then I was out at a track meet watching our kids compete so hard, and it just brought tears to my eyes,” said Mabry. “This community has been my home for 14 years, and there are so many great people and lifelong friends here. This is a great place to raise a family.”
Mostly, Mabry says he will miss the kids.
“If the kids weren’t any good and the school wasn’t great, this would be easy,” he said. “But the kids are awesome, and the school district is tremendous. It’s difficult to leave after pouring so much of yourself into a place like this.”
Mabry said the recommendations of former Stephenville head coach Joseph Gillespie, currently a linebackers coach at the University of Tulsa, and Mike Copeland, a Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor member, former head coach and current cornerbacks coach at Stephenville, helped him land the new job.
“I’m so appreciative of those guys for the good words they said about me and for their recommendations,” said Mabry, who shared the news of his pending departure with Stephenville athletes following last week’s district track and field meet. “Those are two great examples for a young coach like myself, and I just hope I can impact kids the way they have.”