In October, The Belton Journal has featured Women in Business in Belton and the surrounding areas.
Belton Journal Sports is proud to feature BISD Girls’ Athletic Coordinator Brenda Gomez.
In the public eye, Belton head girl’s basketball coach Brenda Gomez is known for what she does on the sidelines as the bench boss.
But Gomez is so much more than that to the Belton Athletic Department.
Gomez started her coaching career back in 1981 in Portales, NM. She coached girls’ basketball and golf, while teaching United States History in the classroom.
“I never would have thought I would be an athletic coordinator,” Gomez said. “I was just focused on my little team and what I was doing. I enjoyed coaching basketball and golf so much that I didn’t see myself doing anything outside of that.”
That little team was a New Mexico basketball powerhouse.
She led Portales to five state championships and collecting three runner-up trophies in Portales, which included state finals appearances in seven consecutive years from 2001-2007. The record of her teams that made the state finals in the eight years was a staggering 160-58 (.734 winning percentage).
Gomez then moved to Waco to become the head coach of the Robinson Lady Rockets and won a Texas UIL Class 3A State Championship in 2009.
Gomez is in her eighth year at Belton and has been the Girls’ Athletic Coordinator for much of that time. With being the coordinator, the mentorship role is also amplified.
“From a personal standpoint, helping coaches become head coaches that can enjoy the experience as much as I did,” Gomez said. “Eliminating some of the hard lessons to learn by talking things out and helping them understand how much of a role model they are to kids. We preach that all of the time. Kids watch you. Kids mimic you. When adults sit back, watch and say ‘I see that kid in you’ and they take that to heart. I think that is one of the benefits to being a coordinator, helping coaches to be successful as they can be.”
Gomez’s mentors have instrumental in her career. Her husband was a huge help in the early part of her career.
“My husband was an athletic director for many years in New Mexico,” Gomez said. “He always gives me great advice. He is a ‘black-and-white” guy. It’s a rule, or it’s not a rule. If I get stumped, I go to him for advice. Coach Southern was a great man to work under. I cherished the time I spent with him. He didn’t have a lot of words, but when he said something you paid attention. He was very generous and kind to me. I got a little bit from him about sitting back and watching. Coach (Bob) Shipley and I shared quite a bit about experiences. He was a great man and a go-getter. He had so much to offer with the different things that he has done. Mike Morgan is the ultimate firecracker. He is the energy bunny, non-stop, and he does sit back and listen. He likes to go, go, go, go. I get a lot from him about communication. I think all four of those guys I got great advice from about what a coordinator needs to do.”
The girl’s coordinator is not solely a “desk job” by any means. Gomez starts her mornings at the middle schools, watching the development of the middle school athletes and checking with the coaches on their needs. After an hour, she heads back to the school to start her day.
“It’s the first level of the kids getting to know you, and you getting to know the kids,” Gomez said. “I come back to the school and get things lined up for the day. One thing I absolutely would never trade is the quality people that I get to work with. Coach (Mike) Morgan, Coach (Sam) Skidmore, Coach (Brian) Cope, Coach (Bryce) Monsen, Coach (Jacob) Hunter…they have been amazing. If we are talking about women in the business-world, they don’t get to have the types of relationships that I have. Those men are amazing. They make me feel equal and that my opinion matters. We can discuss things and I feel that is why this position is so good.”
Belton head softball coach Matt Blackburn has coached at Belton for 11 years and knows the benefits of having Gomez as a mentor and a fellow coach.
“Brenda is someone you can lean on for advice…she has been where we all want to be,” Blackburn said. “She has won multiple state championships and is capable of imparting knowledge to both athletes and coaches. It has been amazing to have her on the staff.”
BISD superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon, whose daughter (Kale) played basketball for Gomez, knows her passion for basketball and teaching young people.
“Brenda has a deep knowledge and love of the game of basketball,” Kincannon said. “She is a great teacher who consistently teaches proper technique and skills to her students. The system that she uses with her students, when fully executed with confidence, produces winning outcomes. She is tough on the court, but fair. I have always been impressed by her ability to balance her competitive drive with compassion and empathy for her students.”
Belton assistant athletic director and football offensive coordinator Brian Cope knows the value of having Gomez’s input in different points of view in the department.
“Brenda Gomez is an asset to our athletic department,” Cope said. “With her wealth of knowledge she has helped many coaches grow in this profession.”
One of those coaches who has benefitted from Gomez’s mentorship is Aubrey volleyball head coach Whitney Stout.
In her first year in Aubrey after spending seven years in Belton as assistant volleyball coach and assistant softball coach, Stout learned a great deal from Gomez.
“I was honored to get to work with and learn from her for seven years,” Stout said. “I got to witness first hand her motivational speeches that she would give before playoff games. The messages always fit the situation. I spent many hours coaching beside her in softball and was constantly asking questions about how to handle certain situations. I have used her advice too many times to count in the first two months of first head coaching job. We would sit and talk on how to make the best programs possible whatever the sport. It helped me grow so much as a coach and a person. I knew that I was going to get an honest answer from her always. It is an honor to call her a friend, and have grown as a coach from our conversations about sports. She is definitely a coach who knows a thing or two about how to win and build a successful program.”
“The main goal a coordinator should have is to make sure that those people get to go develop their own personality and their own team,” Gomez said. “I had gotten a text from Whitney wishing me good luck on the opening of basketball season and I asked her about her team and how they were doing. It feels really good to hear from the coaches that were here and ex-players that are getting into the profession. It is the unique relationships that you build over the years that are special.”
Belton head volleyball coach Krystal Brodbeck was hired two-and-a-half-years ago. Along with her assistant coaches and players, Gomez has been one of the key figures in Brodbeck’s first three seasons.
“From my first day at Belton, she has always been willing to offer advice or lend support,” Brodbeck said. “She has a genuine interest in athletes beyond the court, as she is committed to developing good people beyond just good players. She is perfect in reminding others of what is important in life, and I am thankful for the kindness that she has shown.”
As a program leader, Belton athletic director Mike Morgan knows the importance of having solid people working for him on his athletic staff. Gomez is an important contributor to that success.
“Brenda has had tremendous success during her career and always strives to find ways to make her program better,” Morgan said. “Our girls program has improved tremendously during Brenda’s time here. Brenda is humble, hard working, and genuinely cares about the success of all students at Belton ISD.”