Texas coaching legend Eddie Joseph dies, impact lives on

Katy High coach Gary Joseph, right, shakes his father Eddie’s hand after Gary won his 200th career coaching game in November in Katy. (PHOTO BY DENNIS SILVA II)

BY DENNIS SILVA II | densilva2@gmail.com

Eddie Joseph, a Texas high school coaching icon, died early Sunday morning at the age of 86 years old.

His son, renowned Katy High football coach Gary Joseph, delivered the news on Twitter not long after Eddie’s passing.

Eddie Joseph was synonymous with the essence of coaching. He coached for the kids, and he coached because he believed in the value athletics provided for young lives.

“A coach’s coach,” many would say.

His impact was evident in the many coaches and administrators Joseph came in contact with during an illustrious career that started in the 1950s and continued into the 1990s in his work with the Texas High School Coaches Association.

Joseph was inducted into the THSCA Hall of Honor in 1983. Gary will be inducted this summer.

Gary, who won his 200th career game in November with Eddie present at Legacy Stadium, said everything he believes about coaching comes from his father.

“Our coaches and myself, especially my dad, always talked for a long time that it’s not about me, it’s about our kids,” Gary Joseph said. “We’ll keep our kids first in everything we do. That’s why we got into coaching.”

Katy High coach Gary Joseph, left, with his father, Eddie, in November. (PHOTO BY DENNIS SILVA II)

Coaching runs in the Joseph family. Eddie’s younger son, Scott, was recently named the head football coach at Aldine Davis High, was previously the defensive coordinator at Morton Ranch High and also coached at Seven Lakes High.

Gary is regarded as one of the finest coaches in the state, winning four state championships while at the helm of the Tigers. Gary and Scott’s principles of discipline, teamwork and building long-lasting relationships with young men all come from Eddie. Their respective programs are proof.

Gary’s work ethic and knowledge of the game is admired. Katy ISD athletic director Debbie Decker said that is a credit to Eddie, because “Gary grew up around it.”

Joseph was honored by the National Football Foundation and Collegiate Hall of Fame in 1984. A Class of 1950 graduate of Jesuit Dallas High, Joseph coached in Victoria, Wharton, and won four straight Catholic state championships in Oklahoma City. He posted an overall coaching record of 138-54-6. He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps for three years.

In a statement released Monday, Texas football coach Tom Herman said: “For many of us, Coach Joseph represents everything a coach should strive to be. First and foremost he loved his players. His legacy will live on through the thousands of lives he impacted.”

The news of Joseph’s passing shook the Texas high school coaching world and was telling in Joseph’s significant influence.

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