The 2014 District 18-6A football title was shared by three teams, Aldine ISD’s Davis High and Eisenhower High and Memorial High of Spring Branch ISD.
Each team beat one another in key games to force the three-way tie, and so it would only be natural to name Davis High head coach James Showers and Eisenhower High head coach Kerry Bamburg as the Northeast News’ Co-Coaches of the Year.
Showers helped lead the Falcons to a share of the league title and a playoff berth in their first year of varsity football (the school opened in 2012 and played a junior varsity schedule its first two years), while Bamburg led his team to eight victories in his second year as the Eagle’s head coach after serving as an assistant coach/defensive coordinator for 15 years at Aldine High School, his high school alma mater.
After playing for legendary Aldine High head coach Bill Smith as a linebacker and defensive end, Bamburg attended Texas A&M University where he earned his degree and spent time around Aggie coaches and athletes who encouraged him to remain in athletics.
He’s glad he took their advice.
Bamburg began his coaching career in 1995 at Aldine High School working for Smith as a defensive assistant. In 2005, he moved to Caney Creek High School where he served as defensive coordinator and then moved to Smiley High School in from 2006-2009 to serve as the school’s assistant head coach/defensive coordinator. He returned to his roots in 2009 to serve as Aldine High’s assistant head coach and defensive coordinator before being named Eisenhower’s head coach in 2013.
He said playing for and working under Smith was the best experience a young coach could ask for.
“Coach Smith taught me how to run an athletic program, to treat people the right way and that winning is expected and losing is unacceptable,” Bamburg said. “He always reminded us as a staff that when we won it was because of what the kids did, and when we lost it was because of something we didn’t do as coaches.”
In addition to learning from Smith, perhaps the most successful coach in Aldine ISD history and the winner of more than 200 games and the 1990 Class 5A state championship title, Bamburg also credits former Eisenhower High head coaches Pat Patterson and Richard Carson and Aldine ISD Director of Athletics with having a profound influence on his career.
“Mr. Delgado kept the pressure on me to always strive to be better and not to be satisfied with things, whether they were good or bad. He also kept on me to get my master’s degree, and am I ever thankful that he did.”
Bamburg said he enjoys coaching because it affords him the opportunity to reach out to young men.
“Coaching provides a great opportunity to influence, develop and impact the lives of young men each and every day,” he said.
He said he was proud of what his team accomplished during the 2014 season and looks forward to many more successful years at Eisenhower.
“This was such a special team this year,” Bamburg said. “They did some things that a lot of people said they couldn’t do, including winning a share of the district title, having the first winning record in several years and continuing the school’s consecutive playoff streak. This was a fun team to coach. They played with a lot of heart and they had fun at practice and in games.”
Bamburg and his wife Carrie have a daughter Michelle and a son Keegan.
Showers did not see himself as a coach when he graduated from Sul Ross State. He wanted to go into law enforcement or business, but was persuaded to serve as a student assistant at his alma mater.
Twenty-five years later, he’s still coaching and loving every minute of it.
Showers played defensive back at Sul Ross State University and after three years as a graduate assistant, he served for two years as the head football coach at Sierra Blanca High School, then spent five years at Fort Stockton High School as an assistant coach and head track coach before moving to Shoemaker High School in Killeen where he served as the school’s assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for 12 years. In 2012, he was provided with the opportunity to begin a program from scratch when he was named Davis High School’s first-ever head football coach.
“Once I got into coaching, I felt I had an immediate impact on the player’s lives and decisions they made so I thought, ‘why not try to impact young men’s lives before the police do.’”
Showers said his most influential mentor was his former coach Ken Gray. He said when Coach Gray spoke, he listened and learned much from him.
“I could always tell when he spoke to you, he spoke from the heart,” Showers said. “Whether he was giving you a pat on the back or fussing at you, it came from his heart. When I got into coaching and decided I was going to be a high school coach, he was the first person I contacted for knowledge and advice. I also got the privilege of working with him at Shoemaker for 12 seasons. He is the second best man I’ve ever met because my Dad is No. 1!”
Showers said it’s important for a coach at any level to gain the trust of his players. Once that trust is established, good things will follow.
Like they did for the Falcons during the 2014 season. After a slow start, the Falcons got things going in district play and picked up a key win over Eisenhower to secure a playoff spot.
Showers said he enjoyed this year’s team and is looking forward to bigger and better things in the future at Davis.
“This year’s team was an absolute pleasure to coach,” Showers said. “It is very rare that a group of young men can come from so many different (middle) schools and put together a season of accomplishments the way these young men did this year. They competed against each other for years and had to learn to become unselfish in a short amount of time. This group of football players has set the tone for Davis Football for years to come. I’m very proud of them and privileged to be a part of it.”
Showers and his wife Shauna, who is an assistant principal at MacArthur High School, have a son and a daughter. Their son Jameill is the starting quarterback for the University of Texas El-Paso and their daughter Hailee was a multi-sport athlete at Nimitz High School. She currently attends Navarro College in Corsicana on a volleyball scholarship and is considering offers from the University of Houston, Arkansas, McNeese State, Texas A&M Kingsville and Midwestern State University.