Garza leaves Akins after 19 years; Saxe will take over


Stephanie Valle

Love of the Game- Senior running back Kenan Lockhart hugs head football Coach Humberto Garza during game against Manor, which was the last of the season.

Jake Copeland

In late April, Humberto Garza stepped down from his position as the head coach of the varsity football team at Akins, leaving an opening for a new leader of the football program and an athletic coordinator for the school.

Garza, had worked with the Eagles football team for 19 years, the past 10 as the head coach. On May 6, Principal Tina Salazar announced that the team’s former offensive coordinator Joey Saxe will serve as the team’s new head coach. Saxe will also share athletic coordinator responsibilities with head volleyball coach Amanda Thomas.

Garza said in an article by the Austin American-Stateman that it was a “mutual decision” with Austin school district officials to leave Akins.

Garza said his 19 years at Akins were “fantastic.”

“Lots of relationships and memories were built and I am going to miss being there,” he said. “However there is a time when one must move on. My time has come. I believe the foundation has been set and I know great things will happen for whoever comes in next. I look forward to hearing the great things that are happening.”

Former offensive coordinator Joey Saxe said he appreciates Garza’s many contributions during his time as the head coach.

“Coach Garza will leave as the winningest head coach in school history and took two teams to the playoffs — the first in school history,” Saxe said. “He is a great person who left a great legacy.”

Sophomore Aaron Martinez said he respects how much Coach Garza cares for the game, and what he has done to build up the Akins football program over the years.

“I remember seeing my brother play for coach Garza a couple years ago and go to the playoffs,” he said.

Martinez said the new head football coach would have to do a lot of rebuilding.

“I think a head coach needs to be a father figure to the players and needs to be passionate for the game,” he said.

Senior Trystin Brown said he is sad to see Garza leaving Akins after having him as his coach for all four years of high school.

“I had a tight bond with coach Garza,” he said. “He always encouraged us to be and do our best no matter the situation.”

Brown’s relationship with Coach Garza made him enjoy the time he had on the football team.

“I think Akins having a new coach can go smoothly with a good transition. I can only hope for the best of the future of Akins.”