Gary Joseph

Staff photo by Albert Villegas

Gary Joseph (center white shirt) is shown in a group photo with his wife and friends that he’s known since walking the halls of Wharton High School in the 1970s. From left are Doug Fertsch, Joseph’s wife Sheila, Joseph, Sam Golden, Randy Hill and Shalle Hill. They are shown during a Wharton ISD Board of trustees meeting.

A father-son combination inducted into the Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA) Hall of Honor is a rare occurrence. On Saturday, July 20, Gary Joseph, the highly successful coach at Katy High School will join his father, Eddie Joseph, a 1983 inductee in the Hall of Honor and a 14-year coach at Wharton High School as an inductee into an exclusive group numbering slightly over 300 coaches honored for their contributions to the coaching profession. The Josephs will become only the second father-son combination inducted in to the Hall of Honor. Preceding them in as a combination was Orville and Lynn Etheredge. 

Gary Joseph’s credentials that helped get him this honor on Saturday are well-known and recited regularly; 15 years at Katy with a 91 percent winning percentage (202-20-0) four UIL state championships, one national championship, multiple coach of the year awards on a number of levels, membership on the board of directors of THSCA and the 2007 Katy Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. So Saturday night’s award represents another feather in his cap which must more resemble a war bonnet to accommodate all the feathers that keep coming his way.

The basis for all his achievements in coaching Katy successfully began back in Wharton where he played for his father, Eddie on the varsity Tiger teams of 1972 and 1973. Despite his smaller stature, he played a ferocious linebacker position. His fellow co-captain, one of three leading the ’73 team, Turk Johnson, commented, “Gary was one tough cookie. He really took those hits.”

Johnson expounded further, “Gary took pride in being a Tiger. He led by example. For example, he would call me during those hot summer days and get myself and most of our teammates to work out before two-a-days started.”

The influence that Eddie Joseph had on Gary’s playing days was summed up by Johnson, “He played for all of us, his dad, his teammates, Wharton and most importantly, himself.”

The three tangibles that Johnson sees coming for Gary in coaching Katy that he carried over from playing for his dad are honesty, love, respect.

Joining Joseph and Johnson as a tri-co-captain in ’73 was George Nunez.

In a previous award given to Joseph as he was inducted into the Texas High School Football hall of Fame in Waco, comments were posted about the relationships he has forged with his players at Katy, about the ways in which he has coached them and the influence his dad and his coach, Eddie Joseph had on him in making him the man and coach he is today. In a recent interview, he spoke of those years at Wharton and what he has taken from one Tigerland to build onto his present Tigerland.

“My dad taught me in dealing with players the following guidelines, ‘Be firm but fair. Have compassion for others. Teach the players respect, for themselves, for peers, for women, for the process,’” Gary said. “He also said, ‘Work with a servant’s heart. Be unselfish. Remember the opposition are kids.’”

Asked to compare how coaching teams differed now and back when he was a senior for the Tigers, Joseph said, “Back then, we had two way practices, 50 minutes offense, 50 minutes defense and 20 minutes special teams. I am fortunate to have more coaches and resources. But the theme is still the same; hard work, sacrifice, dedication, unselfishness, trust, helping kids to grow up are still core foundations of our program.”

Adding some more of the principals by which he has led the Katy Tigers to the tremendous success that they have had under his tutelage, he mentioned, “Organization and preparation are still key today as it was in ’73. Having more coaches now gives us a chance to better prepare kids. Fundamentals and repetition are still key. Just like in ’73. Kids still need role models and discipline in their lives. All punishment doesn’t have to be the same. All punishment has to be fair. Social media has to be addressed. Kids want to talk more about themselves than their teammates and team. It is about the team.”

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