Coaches’ lives touched in Alpine

Andrew Fellows and his wife, Megan, spent the last four years in Alpine after graduating from Minnesota-Morris where he played football and she played volleyball. 

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

After playing college football at Minnesota-Morris, Andrew Fellows was offensive coordinator for the Fightin' Bucks for the past four years. During that time, his younger brother, Aaron, matured on the gridiron. The family fellowship culminated on a magical night in Crane last November. Aaron, the senior quarterback, scored all three touchdowns in a 22-16 overtime win.

It captured one of many District titles that John, their father, had won as a head coach, but for Andrew, it was his first one ever as a coach. During a brief postgame huddle, the brothers had their arms around each other. It was a moment that will never be repeated.

Andrew is expected to be the offensive coordinator for Fort Stockton this fall, and Alpine is scheduled to host the Panthers in week two of the upcoming football season.

Megan, his wife, will be a varsity volleyball assistant and middle school track and field coach.

“It’s been a blessing,” John said. “They’re good coaches, good people, and they’re good for our kids. They'll be good for Fort Stockton's kids, too.”

With his parents’ busy schedule in Alpine, baby Clay was often passed around the bleachers between family and friends while Mom and Dad coached at games and practices. Now they'll be at a school that provides housing for teachers, and has a daycare right around the corner from top-notch athletic facilities.

“To continue living in Alpine we would have to coach four sports apiece,” Andrew explained. “We wanted a chance to spend more time with Clay. Fort Stockton offered us that opportunity to coach less, and make more money.”

Meanwhile, Bridgett Gonzales, the Lady Buck softball coach, is heading back to the San Angelo area. It is tough to say goodbye to Alpine, but her husband, Caleb, has a new job title, and they are moving closer to their families. She is currently looking for her next assignment as a coach and special needs teacher.

“COVID-19 has slowed that down but hopefully an opportunity will arise,” said Gonzales.

As the search for a new softball coach continues, the Bucks volleyball head coaching vacancy has been filled by Rick Garcia. The former Sul Ross State University head coach and current high school administrator was an assistant last season, and will provide some stability when the 2020 volleyball season gets underway.

“He knows the girls well,” Megan said. “So the transition with me leaving without being able to say a proper goodbye is perfect.”

Andrew, Megan and Clay will be an hour away from Alpine, but they’ll be back to see grandma, grandpa and the cat Andrew gave his dad eight years ago.

“You might say four years of experience is not a lot,” said Gonzales about her two friends, “But when you have two people who have the passion and the love for what they do, the experience doubles in that sense. We’re losing a lot of heart and a lot of passion.”

“She’s a big role type of person,” Megan said about Gonzales. “She was the director of special needs at the high school. In the sports department, she’s been with these girls for five years. I think losing somebody that has been here, and knows the kids and what a lot of them are going through, it’s going to be hard to lose that.”

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