On August 15, 2011, I wrote my first every coach’s corner for The Van Horn Advocate. Over the course of the next two years I tried to write a weekly column for the paper discussing Van Horn Athletics and the direction of the program. The last one I wrote was in November of 2012 as the Advocate went in a different direction and the column was discontinued. I write this in hopes that it reaches the community of Van Horn and Culberson County. Van Horn is a special place and will always hold a sincere place in the hearts of the Gibson family, however, it is time for new challenges in our life and we truly hope that those that supported us understand that. We have been a part of some phenomenal successes of this district, community, and county and we are truly thankful for our friendships built and memories made. CCAISD is a tremendous school district with some of the best teachers and employees in the state.
I would like to take a moment and set the record straight for those that we didn’t have the opportunity to build a relationship with or have the pleasure to meet. My wife and I came to work at CCAISD everyday with one goal in mind – to make a difference. Whether it was a struggling child, a teacher that needed support, coaches that needed a hand in practice or with a family situation, or just to put a smile on someone’s face, making a difference was our goal, and continues to be our goal. There were several rumors that circulated during election time to promote political gain of someone else. It was rumored that I fired a coach as the Athletic Director my first year. Truth be known, the Athletic Director cannot fire anyone and I was not a part of any such process. It so happened the oil field paid more than the school district could. It was stated and rumored that we were racist. Truth be known we were raised in a loving church by a terrific family that taught us love is always stronger than hate, and racism is just that – hate. We have always shown compassion and love to everyone that will allow us to do so and absolutely despise any form of racism. It was also rumored that I was an abusive father to my children. This one without a doubt hurt the most. I love my 2 boys as much as life itself and to be honest tried to show every child I taught or coached the exact same love. My family and I were undeservingly harassed by political nonsense in the professional setting, and in the 4-H setting, blacking out my kids names from the sale list and passing it out to potential buyers, and in the public and community realms as well. It comes with the territory and we accept that, but it ultimately was a major contributing factor to our decision to leave a proud tradition rich community and school district that we love dearly in order to protect our own children from future harassment.
It is not my intention to make this a political rebuttal to actions against us, but to try to help a community and school district rebuild and reunite. There is no better time than now to do just that. CCAISD is a special place with some very special employees and the community, county, and district need each other to thrive. I’ve always believed that forgiveness is one of the toughest challenges life presents, and I take great pride in my ability to grant forgiveness. I’ve struggled the past 5+ years in creating peace in my heart and being a good Christian. I have to forgive and that is why I write this last column instead of packing up and just leaving. It’s not until now, as I write this coach’s corner, that I can in my heart forgive those actions. Now that our family has decided to leave and an apparent board member resignation subsequently followed, I take this opportunity to encourage the community to rally behind the school district and the construction of their new school, to rally behind coach Brock Tyrrell and the entire athletic department as they continue to build on traditions and success, to rally behind school administration and teacher in helping achieve success and potential in the classroom. To the Van Horn Eagles that we have dearly loved for many years, you have great leaders in front of you. I’ve always proclaimed your coaching staff as the best in Texas and I was only a small portion of that, you still have your incredible coaching staff. I challenge you to continue to raise the bar, continue to challenge each other, continue to challenge the perceived limits placed upon you, and overcome all obstacles as we have done the past 6 years. We have always used the saying in our athletic program “Once and Eagle Always an Eagle” and I’m proud to say that I will always consider it a privilege and honor to be considered a Van Horn Eagle. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for the opportunity to be a part of such a special place.