With a sudden changing of the guard late in the summer, Italy Athletic fans have not really had a chance to get to know Italy High School’s new head football coach and athletic director, Charles Tindol. Coach Tindol was gracious enough to answer a few questions for our Italy Neotribune readers and give some insight to his educational and coaching history, as well as explore his experiences as a youth and as a family man.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Coahoma, Texas which is a small town in West Texas next to Big Spring and near Midland/Odessa. I have 2 brothers and we are all one year apart. Later on when we were older we had a 12 year old cousin that lost both of her parents and my parents adopted her. So 3 brothers and a sister. Both of my parents were in education. My dad was a teacher, coach and school counselor. When we got older, he switched from the boys side of coaching to the girls side. My mom taught 5th grade. Both my parents were in education until the day of their retirement. I am very close to both of them and lost my dad to cancer in 2005. My mom still lives in Coahoma.
Any notable athletic experiences as a student-athlete in high school?:
In high school, I excelled at sports! I played football, basketball, baseball, and track. I was all-district in football for both offensive and defense. I was part of a football team that made it to the regional finals. I was also a state champion in the 100 yard dash and 2nd in the pole vault at the State track meet.
Any special achievements while seeking a higher education?:
While majoring in PE and Health in college, I played football on a 4 year scholarship to at Abilene Christian University (ACU) and was part of their national championship team. ACU has not won a championship since that year. I was a freshman the year ACU won it all and scored the winning touchdown in the National Championship Apple Bowl game. I started all four years for ACU.
What events led you to become a teacher and a coach?:
Before becoming a teacher, I worked all sorts of jobs. I was a welder, worked as a roofer in Houston, worked for UPS, and was the owner and ran an old style soda shop in the historic part of Abilene. It wasn’t until later when I had kids that I got into coaching and teaching. On top of really enjoying sports, I always knew that eventually I wanted to coach. I love coaching, I guess you could say it is in my blood! My older brother was a coach and has just recently retired. I love small schools because I get to know all the athletes and be involved with everything. I love the feel and people in a small tight knit community. I like being around kids, and I like the idea of being able to help kids become more than just strong athletes. I like that I can have an influence in helping them become young adults of character and integrity.
Ultimately, my wife, Nicole and I really enjoy kids. We love being able to encourage them, being positive examples for the them and watch them change and grow. We relish sharing in their joys while helping them gain knowledge from their struggles. We feel blessed to be a part of their journey and want to be a positive part of what they learn, and take with them, and hopefully impact them as they become adults.
How did you meet your wife Nicole? How long have you been married? Any Children?
Nicole and I met in Abilene. We have been married 6 years and have a beautiful blended family of 6 kids and one daughter-in-law, so 7 kids now! We are a crazy bunch, but it all works!! One time someone asked our daughter Victoria if we were a foster family.
Seriously, Our blended family is what we are most proud of. To us it is truly one of God’s greatest blessings. His demonstration of not only his sense of humor, but his awesome ability to bring people together for healing, unconditional love, joy and connections, that exceed blood/DNA, is truly amazing.
Oldest son, Jay (23), is starting his first year as a teacher/coach for Abilene Wylie. Daughter-in-law, Ashley, is a nurse in labor and delivery. Victoria (21), is going to be a senior at ACU this year and plans to go to dental school. Tyson (18), is a college freshman who graduated this May and will start at ACU in the Fall as a Business/ Finance major. Rebecca (15), is going to be a sophomore, and attends a private school in Abilene. Kyle (13), will be an 8th grader this year. Cade (11), is our youngest and will be in the 6th grade. There was a time when all our kids were still in the house with us, ranging from pre-k, elementary school, JH high and high school! Those were great times and went by too fast….
Had you ever heard of Italy before being hired to coach here?
We have heard of Italy, Texas before but have never been to here. Funny story, my wife was searching on the THSCA web site for jobs, and one evening she said to me that she found the “perfect” place for us. It was crazy when one day I got a call to come in and interview. When I got the offer to come, all of a sudden my wife started getting worried, at the time, she did not have a job lined up in Italy. I felt like we needed to have faith and commit, because it just felt like we needed to be here. I felt like she would find a job and that this was where we needed to be for some reason, even with her not having a job right away. This journey for our family has really been amazing. How we came to Italy, and now this new role we find ourselves in. I just continue to feel like we are here for a reason. We are humbled and excited to have our kids here and become part of this community. I am excited because when I look at the athletes here, I see hard working boys and girls who are coachable and want to get better and be at their best. I see natural ability and most importantly, I see a good work ethics. That is what I am excited about on the athletic side.
Are you living in Italy?
We live in Italy, down College Street.
Now that you’ve met many Italy residents, do you feel welcomed?:
Yes, everyone we have met so far has been very friendly. We attended the Guns vs. Hoses event and thought that was so well put on and one of the best fireworks displays we had seen. While there, we were able to meet several people, some parents and several of the athletes. We have felt very welcome and supported thus far.
What are you planning to do with your athletic department? What do you hope to gain with your students?:
Being over the entire athletic program at Italy is a very daunting task, and one that I don’t take lightly. I have 6 kids myself, all of whom I have coached at one time or another, so I know on a personal level the impact and influence a coach can have over an athlete. I do feel an immediate need to make sure that the girls program is headed in a strong and positive direction because I felt like that was important to the school and the community and I want to make that happen. I know, from what was accomplished last year, that all sports have set the bar high and I like that and welcome that. As a director, I want my coaches to work with me and together we will build a great program. This will not be done by one person. It is important to me, that as far as coaches go, we are all on the same page and going the same direction. I think it is impossible to ask a group of high school kids to get along if grown adults can’t do it.
Shifting gears, I’m the head football coach and I know what that means in the state of Texas. We did graduate several great athletes, but I know that the players that are still here were a part of that success. These kids played alongside and against those seniors everyday, so these football players need to look at this new season, not only optimistically, but as a great opportunity for themselves to see what they can achieve. Every year each team needs to take on it’s own identity, and the Italy team of 2013 will do exactly that. With the intent to make this a home for me and my family, I am just really glad to be a part of this next season as well as settle in and be a part of this community for many years.