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I hope he’s resting easier tonight. I know I will sleep well.

George Pasterchick is finally in the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame. It took way too long. But George Pasterchick is in the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame.

The arc of history does indeed bend toward justice.

I’d like to think I love football. But he loved it even more. And I loved and respected him for that.

Coach P. was the head coach at St. Gerard High School for about 437 years. He never failed his school, his team and his players, and he never dishonored The Great Game. What coach would not be at peace with that?

Over his tenure at St. Gerard, George saw it from every angle. He had teams that were just jaw-droppingly good. And he had teams that couldn’t tie their shoes. He would not take issue with my saying that. The point is he loved all of them. Everything else was a variable, but his love for his Royals was a constant.

Coach Pasterchick and I knew each other starting in 1986 through my media work. But in 1994, thanks to my beloved friend Frank Vavala, I joined the coaching staff at St. Anthony High School. Things changed. But they didn’t.

Both his Royals and our Jackets were no kidding good that year. It was clear in late September that our November meeting was going to be epic.

We went in 8-0. They were 7-1. I will tell you candidly that we had scouted at least four of their games and I had seen miles of video of them that scared the hell out of me. I was not confident we could control or even slow down their skill players.

The Friday night we met each other was unforgettable. Clear. Crisp. It screamed “Big Game.”

Huge crowd. Fans on fire with anticipation. Lotsa media coverage. Electrons crackled.

During pregame warmups I was about to throw up.  

George makes a big production out of this. The stands are already full. He walks up to me and appears to hug me around my neck, in front of everybody. In reality he was trying to choke me. “Welcome to real football, rookie.”

Offended? Oh, just hell no!   I loved it. And I loved him for it.

My respect for George was and remains unlimited. But he wouldn’t love me back if I weren’t a competitor, and if I didn’t love our team.

We won. 14-13. It came down to the final seconds. But in my mind, it was settled early in the second quarter when our 140-pound free safety, Brian Lopez, laid out their 190 pound D-1 prospect receiver, the guy I feared more than anyone else on their team. Stretched him.

George and I of course met after the game. And his congratulations were sincere.

But he hated us for winning and he hated me for being even a small part of that.

And I was totally cool with that. Had the situation been reversed, I would have felt exactly the same way. And he knew that and respected that.

We coached against each other almost every season over the ensuing 14 years.

We won some. They won some.

My first year as O.C. at St. A was 2002. He schooled me in the season opener. Schooled me. I didn’t sleep for two weeks.

I will tell you that George and I really got into it a couple of times. He was not kidding and I assure you I was not, either.

But it was always cool five minutes later.

And my love and respect for him never wavered. He loved The Great Game even more than I do.

And all love and respect to Mrs. Pasterchick, perhaps the most gracious lady I’ve ever known. Coach P. WAY outkicked his coverage on that one.

Coach P. left us nine years ago.

It’s December 13, 2021. And Coach George Pasterchick is finally in the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame.

The world is a better place.

As he always said, cryptically (what the hell does that mean?), “There’s blood on the moon tonight.”

2 Responses

  1. Great guy. I was on the sideline cheering my butt off for the Mighty Jackets. But when #20 laid the boom, the team got some hidden energy that carried us to victory. Coach P did it all for St. Gerald’s. A friend of mine who worked there said he even stood at the lunch line taking money and conversing with every student during lunch.

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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.