Athletic Director Series Featuring Southside ISD
An interview with Southside ISD Athletic Director, Ricky Lock
What inspired you to become an athletic director?
I come from a family of educators, my mom was an educator and my dad was a superintendent. Education meant a lot to all of us. I was a college athlete and I liked being around athletics. To see student athletes be successful and to give back and make sure kids have a positive experience is rewarding. It hurts me when I see former student athletes who struggle in life. It’s exciting when I see former student athletes succeed in life with family and career.
We have good kids here at Southside. The kids play hard, they’re respectful. The coaches do an outstanding job, love the kids here. It’s a very positive situation.
At Southside ISD, what has made you most proud?
Arrived in 2014, where Southside had won one game the year before. That next year, we made it to the playoffs. For some perspective, Southside had been to the playoffs four times since 1952. In 2017, we won the district championship.
Out of my seven complete years, we’ve been in the playoffs 6 times. I’ve had athletes go off and play college football, volleyball, softball, golf, and track.
To see them get a college diploma, that’s the pinnacle of it all.
What do you believe are the benefits of athletics for students?
I think being part of a team, learning how to work together, discipline, and handling adversity are some of the benefits athletics provides.
There’s always going to be ups and downs, good moments and low moments. You have to learn how to turn the page and fight though adversity when life gets tough. Athletics teaches kids how to handle life the same way.
For some students, athletics is a vehicle to do well in school and even show up to school. Athletics can drive students to the diploma. I would venture to say that 99% of them would agree with how athletics incentives them to succeed in school, overcome adversity, and understand the value of teamwork. All of this contributes to the school environment and culture.
When our teams succeed and win, people want to be a part of that community and school pride. So many other avenues like drill team, cheer, dance, band, etc. contribute to that. Athletics can create that environment. And when everything is positive, people have more pep in their step.