Waxahachie head girls' soccer coach Jason Venable was officially inducted into the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches Hall of Honor last week.
He said the moment, which is a culmination of his 22-year coaching career and came two years after his first nomination, was "very surreal."
Venable was part of a five-member class that included Alan Pocock, Glen Waddell, Sam McCutchen, William Manning and William McDonald. The group joins 24 others who were all inducted between 2010-17.
After he was formally introduced to the audience as a coach with a career record of 445-206-85 at Midlothian, Colleyville Heritage and Waxahachie High Schools, Venable first thanked the TASCO board of directors and its members for the honor. He then recalled watching a previous induction and thinking, "I'd really love to be one of those guys one day."
"I'm still not entirely sure that I deserve to be here, but it is truly an honor to be here," Venable said atop the podium. "I want to congratulate all of the other inductees and new members, as well as the old members. We have played many games each other."
Venable also explained how his love for soccer first began, which he was not all too pleased about at the time.
He recalled his mother informing, not asking, the grade-school-aged Venable that he'd be signing up for a "new sport" in his hometown of Ennis. He admitted that he had no idea what soccer was at that point in his life (and neither did many of the coaches in the recreational league).
"Sometimes, we learned quicker than they did," Venable said with a laugh. "[...] Mom is the reason why and I will never forget that. I don't talk about that very often."
Waxahachie ISD Athletic Director Greg Reed said the department is "proud of coach Venable for his achievement of being inducted into the 2018 TASCO Hall of Honor."
"For him to be recognized by his coaching peers is a tribute to his leadership in the profession of coaching as well as his transformational devotion to high school athletes," Reed added.
According to the hall-of-honor criteria listed on the TASCO website, the inductions are based partly on a point system to qualify as a nominee and then the voting members decide. The TASCO website notes "being nominated into the hall of honor doesn’t guarantee anything. Upon nomination, the nominee would be placed into the pool of qualified candidates to be voted on each year by the HoH selection committee."
Coaches earn points for each varsity win (1 point), each year served on the TASCO board as a regional director (2 points), each year served on the TASCO executive board (3 points) and each year over 15 years as a TASCO member (1 point).
The TASCO Hall of Honor nomination form also notes that most coaches accumulate a minimum of 300 points before being considered by the selection committee.
Venable has compiled a 239-52-38 record on the sidelines with Lady Indians and a 206-154-47 combined record while leading the three boys programs at Midlothian, Colleyville Heritage and Waxahachie.
His teams have appeared in five regional tournaments, won seven district championships and accumulated 38 playoff victories in 21 postseason appearances (10 boys, 11 girls). He was also named a TASCO Region II girls coach of the year in 2006 and 2010 and served on the TASCO board as a Region I and II director for several years.
The Lady Indians begin the 2018-19 soccer season with scrimmages on Dec. 28 and then play their first non-district match Jan. 3-5 at home in the annual Highway 287 Tournament.