Westlake boys golf coach ends his tenure after over 20 years
WESTLAKE, Texas - Next week's UIL boys state golf tournament will be a bitter-sweet one for Westlake's record-breaking coach.
Longtime Westlake boys golf head coach Callan Nokes' message to his players has always been pretty straight forward.
"That you have to work for it daily. No one's going to give us the state championship because we roll up in our Westlake bag that has last year's state championship on it. We have to go get it ourselves," said Nokes.
In 20-plus years at Westlake, Coach Nokes has won a UIL record of eight state champions, which includes the last five.
"What Coach Nokes has done these past 25 years is unbelievable," said Blake Burt/Westlake Jr. Golfer.
"If we don't expect to win, then why even play. But we work really hard all year. And we feel like we work harder and smarter than everyone else. So we feel like it's ours to take when the time is there," said Nokes.
A year and a half ago, Coach Nokes was named Eanes ISD's new athletic director. Since then, he has been juggling both jobs. But a week before the state tournament, he told his team this would be his last one.
"I purposely didn't say anything the whole school year. Because I didn't want to take away from these guys. I don't want it to be about me. I want it to be about them," said Nokes.
"It's been very challenging. And that's why I decided after this year to step back and give the head golf job to my assistant coach who was a former player of mine. Which was a dream of mine. To have one of my guys take over the program," he added.
"For him to trust someone to take over his legacy. It's super honoring. And I'm super grateful for the opportunity. I'm super thankful he's not leaving school. It's going to be nice having him right down the hall," said Michael Rome/Westlake Boys Golf Assistant Coach.
"Obviously we've done some special things. And I'm proud of that. But I'm really proud of my players because they've always bought in. And believed in the message that I was preaching in helping them win," Nokes said.
The state's UIL tournament takes place May 22-23.