By Will McClure
Of the new faces Stamford ISD gained over the summer, the Stamford Athletic program welcomed two new coaches to the staff, with former Abilene High Eagle state football champion Jason Gorman being one of them. A resident of Abilene all of his life, Gorman made the choice to move to Stamford and take on a position on the Stamford ISD coaching staff. Although this is only his second year of his professional career, Gorman is ready for the new start and looks to become a part of the Bulldog tradition.
A graduate of McMurry University, Gorman comes from a coaching and education pedigree with his father currently the head freshman football coach at Abilene High as well as his grandmother who was a math teacher. Gorman graduated from Abilene High School in 2009 where he played for the Eagles and was a member of the State Championship team during his senior year. After graduation, Gorman went to McMurry University where he played his freshman year for the McMurry Indians and majored in history with a coaching and education minor. Working with his schedule, Coach Gorman was able to graduate early and completed his student teaching at Abilene High. After one year of teaching in Abilene, Gorman took the opportunity to make a new start and move to Stamford to become a part of the coaching staff. While this will be his first time away from Abilene, Gorman is confident about the future and what he hopes to bring to the Bulldog coaching staff.
When discussing his football career as a player at Abilene High, Gorman talked about seeing the development of the team throughout his academic career, seeing the team develop into a powerful team even when he was in elementary school. Being able to play for such a team, Gorman reflected on making it to the third round of the playoffs in his freshman year, the semi-finals in his sophomore year and going undefeated during his junior year, ranking in the top five in the state, before being surprised by Mansfield early in the postseason. After hard work and dedication over the next year, the Eagles were able to capture the State Championship during Gorman’s senior year, also going undefeated. When asked if he has brought with him any of the strategies he learned at Abilene High, Gorman stated that although he has not had much opportunity to closely work with the kids, there is a big part of him that does not want to bring in tactics from another school, stating that every year is different and it would go against the Bulldog tradition.
“I’m a big believer in tradition, but at the same time I don’t want to sit here and toot my own horn. There’s a lot of where we talk about ‘what can you control?’ Well, one thing you can always control as an individual athlete and as a member of this team is your effort. I think that is something we really were fortunate to have [in Abilene] that we can instill here,” Gorman said.
Along with his coaching duties, which also include basketball, track and 7th grade football, Coach Gorman will fill the role of the Junior High Special Education teacher, a role that he has not previously had, instead serving as a 6th grade social studies teacher at Mann Middle School in Abilene. Seeing that Stamford needed a coach who was special education certified when he first began seeking a new teaching job, Gorman took the initiative to receive his certification and has been able to receive the help and support of the faculty in order to be ready for this new path.
“Everybody’s been really helpful, teaching me ‘okay what do you need to do for this, what do you need to do for this, how do you handle this, what paperwork goes where.’ I’m overwhelmed with how much help I’m getting which is a good problem to have. I’m going to be well set, very well taken care of. I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” Gorman said. Finding that he liked teaching just as much as coaching, Gorman did not expect to have this new opportunity and is looking forward to seeing the progression during each period of time, whether it is during a week, a six-weeks grading period or even during a semester and is looking forward to seeing how much he can help the kids progress so that they are more caught up and more prepared for the next year.
Along with all of the help he has been receiving from the school, Gorman stated that although he has come to a town where no one knows him, he said that he has been very welcomed and everyone has been very friendly towards him as he began to settle in. When talking about his fellow coaches, he stated that he has been welcomed in completely, feeling like that if he had a question about anything, he would get an answer. Gorman also stated that he already feels like he is a part of the Stamford community and is looking forward to earning his welcome. He also said that he believes in the town motto: Faith, Family, Bulldogs
“There’s something I really appreciate about the community…there’s a big state championship sign [coming in from Lueders] that says we won state championship two years in a row and four years in a row back in the fifties and that’s great. But then there’s also a sign that says ‘Welcome to Stamford: A Community of Faith.’ And so I appreciate that there is such a real community. I’m really grateful that I have found a community and a school district that I feel like I’m going to fit in with very well.” Welcome to Stamford, Coach Jason Gorman, and good luck on your new beginning!