Coaches’ lives touched in Alpine

Bridgett Gonzales took over the Alpine High School softball program in 2018, and was hoping to lead them to a District title this year before their season was postponed. She and her husband are moving to the San Angelo area. 

This is part one of a two-part series about Alpine ISD’s retiring coaches.

When Andrew Fellows decided to leave Texas and attend college at Minnesota-Morris, he gave his dad, John, a kitten. He told him to take care of it because it would remind him of his son while he was gone.

“Andrew’s a big animal person,” John remembered. “This cat was going to be put down, and he rescued it and then brought it home. To keep me from saying no, he said, ‘It will remind you of me while I'm gone.”’

The cat moved with John, Sandra, and their two younger children from Iraan, to Big Lake, to McCamey, and finally Alpine in 2015. One year later, Andrew returned from college with his new wife, Megan, and the two began teaching at Alpine Middle School, and coaching multiple sports.

Now, after four years, Andrew, Megan and their young son, Clay, are moving on to Fort Stockton where a bigger school with more opportunities awaits them. Youthful softball head coach, Bridgett Gonzales, is also moving away, and leaving the Bucks athletic program this summer.

“The kids in Alpine are great,” Andrew said. “This decision wasn’t easy at all. If we could take all of those kids from Alpine with us, we would. We were in a unique situation where we got to work for my dad, and my mom worked at the school, so we were basically together all day.”

“When you're talking about dealing with 160 different types of kids in athletics, you learn to be patient with them,” he added. “Especially because they come from different backgrounds.”

Little did they know that one of their closest friends, Gonzales, had also decided to move.

“My life has been touched by so many people,” Gonzales said this week. “I feel honored to have had the opportunity to be in Alpine, and I’m so grateful that I got to be part of their children’s lives. Once a Buck, always a Buck.”

Gonzales arrived in Brewster County along with John Fellows. The two had worked together in McCamey for two years before Fellows became the Bucks Athletic Director and head football coach in 2015. Gonzales guided the girls’ basketball team over the past five seasons, and was also an assistant for the volleyball team.

But her passion is softball. She got a chance to head up the Lady Bucks softball team, and had her work cut out for her last year in her first season. For the most part, the roster was inexperienced, and there weren’t enough players to field a junior varsity squad.

Despite a trial-by-fire for most of the varsity team, they improved steadily, finished second in their District, and won their first round playoff series. The 2020 team was off to a much better start compared to last year, before the coronavirus blew the season away.

In 2018 Megan Fellows, a Division II volleyball player, became the head coach of the high school volleyball team. They won a District title and a Bi-District playoff game in the midst of the third trimester for her unborn child.

In late November, Andrew and Megan welcomed Clay into the world, but it wouldn’t be long before they began to see less and less of each other.

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