ROBERT LEE — The Robert Lee Steers dropped the de facto District 13-1A championship to Eden last season, falling 71-68.
So, what do you do?
Hire a hall of fame coach to take over the program.
Meet new head coach Karry Owens. The longtime headman was inducted into the Texas Six-Man Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2017 and spent eight years in retirement before signing on to join the Steers.
“I made some comments about how someday I might want to do this again,” Owens said. “So, they [Robert Lee] contacted me and gave me an opportunity and Robert Lee was a fit for me because my wife is from Robert Lee so we knew a lot of the people. It intrigued me from that standpoint. I know the standards they want to uphold as far as the way they want the kids to perform and behave so I decided to try it.”
Despite never winning a state final (0-2), Owens holds a career record of 183-93-4.
“We’re just looking to come out and start developing a program that can eventually compete with the lead if not this year,” Owens said. “We’re going to come out, work hard and hopefully surprise ourself and those around.”
Every coach wants to lead his program to victory, but according to Owens, the wins will come with hard work and they aren’t the driving factor for him returning to the gridiron. Owens is putting emphasis on character development.
“You have a little different attitude when you’re in the retirement stage of your career,” Owens said. “You focus more on the kid and the wins will take care of themselves. I’m not going to lie and say you’re not trying to win as many games as you can, but the focus really is not directed at those. It’d be nice… I’d finally love to win one of those things [win a state championship] but it’s not the driving force.”
Robert Lee hasn’t won a district title since 2012 and their run to change that begins on Aug. 30 with a home game against Water Valley.