Photos courtesy of Joaquin Escobar
Joaquin Escobar has made a career out of taking downtrodden programs and turning them into perennial contenders.
Now the 1991 Comanche High School graduate gets to embark on a new challenge as he takes over a strong program and looks to elevate it to new heights.
Escobar was named the Indians new head football coach and athletic director on Monday night, replacing Stephen Hermesmeyer, who left for Troy last month.
He just finished his first season at the helm of Carrizo Springs and led the Wildcats to a playoff berth.
The allure of going home and the challenges it would bring were too much for him to pass up.
“It’s been a whirlwind and I didn’t know that it was going to be like this,” he said. “I’m fired up, fired up. That’s home to me and I’m just fired up.”
Escobar’s extremely excited to be returning not just to the Big Country, but home. It still felt a bit surreal on Tuesday afternoon.
“That community has meant a lot to me ever since I was a kid growing up,” Escobar said. “I’m excited and just fired up. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would get to be the head football coach and athletic director at Comanche High School.”
Growing up in Comanche, Escobar was raised by his grandparents. His grandmother is now 89 years old.
Having been gone from his hometown for 16 years, he now gets to return home and be a difference-maker in kids’ lives. The tradition and work ethic around the Comanche program is something that Escobar is excited to be part of again.
“The kids in Comanche have always been hard-nosed and tough,” he said. “It’s a blue-collar community and I talked about it in my interview process. It’s a roll up your sleeves, punch the clock and get to work community. That’s fun to be a part of and it makes coaching fun.”
Escobar plans to make some schematic changes, turning to more of a no-huddle spread look, but he promises that his team is still going to smash its opponents in the mouth.
He knows, though, that he will have to adapt his schemes to the athletes that he has in the program.
Comanche had a string of eight consecutive playoff appearances under Hermesmeyer — a streak that Escobar is excited to continue.
“Coach Hermesmeyer did a great job and it’s going to be tough because I don’t usually go to programs that have already been established,” Escobar said. “We are still going to be a power offense but it’s going to be a little more spread and not a Wing-T offense.”
Even though he expects Comanche to be a no-huddle offense, he still expects to run a lot of plays from under center as he thinks that’s important as well.
Prior to being at Carrizo Springs, Escobar served as the head coach at Edinburg for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Comanche isn’t a place he sees being a short blip on his resume either.
After all, as Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.”