Athletic Director Series Cy-Fair ISD
An interview with Cy-Fair ISD Director of Athletics, Ray Zapeda
What inspired you to become an athletic director?
My mother and father were both educators in various roles over long careers in public education. Their example combined with the experience that I had as a student-athlete with my own coaches motivated me to become an athletic director. My coaches always convinced me that I was better than I probably was and their belief in me and investment in me inspired me to do the same for others.
I cannot express in words the pride and appreciation that I have for our school district, our coaches and our student-athletes. This is an incredible community that supports athletics and activities for ALL students. We are incredibly fortunate to live and work here and I hope that our programs and our efforts reflect the excellence expected and demanded by our community.
At Cy-Fair ISD, what has made you most proud?
I can point to many accomplishments over the years that are memorable in my time in CFISD. The state championship game runs experienced in the last decade by Cy-Fair football, Cy Woods girls basketball, Cy Falls boys basketball, Cypress Ranch baseball, Cy Creek girls basketball and our wrestling teams from Cy Ridge and Cypress Ranch are all important and stand out in my mind.
However, I think it is just as gratifying to see a team or program take meaningful steps of improvement because of the actions and abilities of a truly inspired coach.
What do you believe are the benefits of athletics for students?
I believe that athletics offers our student-athletes an incredible forum for learning skills and abilities that allow them to be more successful later in their lives. The concepts of teamwork, cooperation, leadership and service to others is fostered on a daily basis in our programs. Athletes also learn a lot about themselves from the daily process of overcoming adversity and self-improvement through their athletic participation. It is impossible to succeed each time that you compete and athletes learn to “fail forward” in a positive and supportive environment. This growth process is hard to replicate in a normal classroom setting.