It’s uncommon for someone who’s only coached high school soccer for 20 years to accumulate 500 wins so quickly.
High school soccer seasons have 25 games. To meet that mark of winning by having a team win 50 percent of their games, it would take a coach 40 years.
It only took Austin Guest, a former Red Oak High School soccer coach and the current Midlothian Panthers head coach, half of that time.
“There were some feelings of accomplishment, but mostly it was about remembering all of the great kids and assistant coaches who were involved in helping me get this far,” Guest said.
He began his coaching career in Red Oak under the mentoring of Dave Simeone, a former North Texas State Soccer Association director of coaching and player development and United States Soccer Federation women’s national staff coach, in 1996.
After coaching the Red Oak Lady Hawks team for two years, adding the boys team in 1998 and leading the Hawks to a 4A soccer state title in 2003, he accepted a position with the Midlothian Independent School District, coaching both Midlothian High School soccer teams until the school’s move to 5A in 2010.
He has coached only the boys teams since.
“It was a really tough move and at the time, I had to leave behind a lot of kids I really cared about,” Guest said. “Coming to Midlothian gave me a chance to have a lot of say in decision making in both the boys and girls soccer and build a program that had two junior varsity teams.”
Since focusing on boys soccer only, he has led the Panthers to a 57-44-21 win-loss-tie record and a district championship in 2013.
Jason Venable, Waxahachie High School’s head girls soccer coach, knows the feeling of tallying a win total of that magnitude. Ho won his 400th game during the Lady Indians game against Arlington Seguin High School on Mar. 2.
“I was proud of him. It’s a milestone I hope to reach myself,” Venable said. “Very few current coaches and even fewer retired coaches have reached that milestone in Texas soccer. Austin has coached about as long as me, somewhere around 22 to 23 years.”
Venable said coaching both teams can be taxing since both teams play the same night and there scheduling conflicts when both teams reach the playoffs.
“He has been a close friend for a long time,” he continued. “In the 10 years I coached both boys and girls I used Austin as the source when I wanted advice when certain situations can up. He was the man who encouraged and wanted me to take on both genders.”
Guest said, ultimately, it is the support of the community, administrative staff and a great student base that has been the reason he’s seen 500 wins so quickly.
“Thankfully, all my principals and superintendents have been very good ones,” Guest said. “I’ve heard the horror stories about those who don’t back the coaches and don’t help the coaches help the kids as much as they could have.
“We coach a lot of kids and we’ve been fortunate a lot of those kids have gone on to play in college,” he continued. “We’re more fortunate a large number of them have become great adults.”