What a career in J-town
A man who has never wanted to be in the spotlight or given credit for his athletes’ success has retired from Jourdanton I.S.D.
After looking over his accomplishments during his tenured career, one would have to consider him not only a local legend but a Region IV and statewide legend. After serving Jourdanton I.S.D. for 44 straight years, Coach Norman Borth has hung it up and is ready for what awaits him during the next phase of his life.
“I couldn’t even find a photo of myself from my time coaching to give you for the paper. I am sure I have one somewhere, but I was never one to want the credit. My thought process is I was hired to do a job and if an accolade or highlight was sparked by my performance, then so be it. At the end of the day, it is about the kids, not me,” Coach Norman Borth stated.
Coach Norman Borth will turn 67 years old on Thursday, June 28th. Even though it was not an easy decision, he felt the timing was right.
Norman Borth graduated from Yorktown High School in 1963, where he played all sports and excelled in guess what; track and field. Some considered him the Yorktown Flash according to a few sources. What may surprise many, is his career began down quite a different path from where it finished.
“When I graduated, I went to business school for a year, because my father wanted me to. I got a job shortly after my year where I worked in a small building with no windows. This is when I realized, this was not for me,” stated Borth.
Coach Borth was contacted by a Victoria Jr. College coach in reference to a track scholarship he had available for the standout runner from the small town of Yorktown. The former Wildcat then accepted the offer to Victoria Jr. College for two years, before being recruited by Southwest Texas State where he ran track for two years for another Wildcat program. Borth took part in the 100 and 200 as well as the relay teams at both track programs. He graduated from SWT in 1968 with a Bachelor in Science and a minor in history/ pe/health.
In July of 1968, he was hired by Jourdanton ISD as their lone jr. high coach at the time by the late superintendent William Brown and former Jourdanton Athletic Director/Head Football Coach Bill Stroman.
Coach Borth was asked why he picked Jourdanton I.S.D. after applying at numerous schools in the area.
“I interviewed at several schools. I think the thing that attracted me is the discipline that I saw in the men. They were both ex-military and were very strict and structured. That is what I was looking for,” stated Borth.
In 1979, Coach Borth was named the head high school boys and girls track and cross country coach. He also assisted with high school football at this time. Borth served as the girls track coach until the fall of 1984 before Jourdanton hired someone to take over the girls program. From this time until 2012, Borth was the head Cross Country coach for both the boys and girls programs as well as the head boys track coach.
“After coaching football for 33 years, I was able to stop actively coaching football. The past eleven years I have only coached my track/cc and kept stats for the football team. I also served as stat keeper for the team and the San Antonio Express since 1989.
During Borth’s time in Jourdanton, he worked under 12 different athletic directors, 8-different superintendents and seven different high school principals.
“I was happy at Jourdanton. I was able to do what I wanted with my track and Cross Country programs. I was very fortunate that each and every athletic director allowed me to run my programs the way I deemed needed. There were very dedicated athletes as well during this time and the parents were always supportive of my programs,” stated Norman Borth.
During his 44-years at Jourdanton I.S.D., Borth compiled the following records as a head cross country/ track coach: 42 District championships including five girls track titles in a row (1978-1984), hundreds of Regional Qualifiers including at least one in every year of coaching, four regional championships in a row and numerous 2nd and 3rd place team finishes, over 50 state qualifiers including one in every individual track and field event, one second place finish at state and one third place finish at the state meet. To top it all off, Borth has coached five individual state champions in track.
“I always considered track to be # 1 followed by my other sports assigned. I always worked hard to better the track program. Highlights for me are just the number of athletes that were able to succeed and go beyond what was expected of them. One of my best memories probably, has to be the girls track teams from 1980-1984 where we won four straight regional titles. Overall, I have had 1000s of athletes work hard for me and it amazes me to think back on the number of talented athletes I had the honor of working with,” Borth stated.
Coach Borth was asked what challenges face coaches today that were not around during the 60s and 70s early in his career.
“Kids are just so involved in this day in age. When I first began, you didn’t have baseball, softball, FFA and so many other things to compete against. Track was it during the spring and everyone competed in it. One other thing is, we didn’t have cell phones and all of the mechanical things or the whole social media thing. We were so much more involved in outdoor activities back in the day,” Coach Borth added.
One thing that is so interesting about Norman Borth, he could have retired about 15-years ago.
“I am not disillusioned when it comes to being a coach, but it was the classroom part that got tiring. There are just too many new things and too much added accountability. You have to teach the way people tell you to now, because of state standards and testing. I always thought I would coach until I dropped, but I think the time is right. I know I am going to miss coaching, but not the classroom,” he added.
Now that Norman Borth announced his retirement, Jourdanton I.S.D. Superintendent Lana Collavo to comment on her retiring employee and had the following to say.
“Norman Borth has touched the lives of many colleagues, students, staff, parents and community members during his 44-years as a Jourdanton ISD employee. His dedication to the district and to student athletes is unmatched. While his presence will be missed, his influence will continue for many years,” stated Collavo.
The 12th and final athletic director Borth had the opportunity to work under is current Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, Wayne Johnson.
“Coach Borth is an institution and that will be greatly missed. His knowledge of athletics and handling of the kids is second to none. I wish him and his wife a very happy retirement,” stated Coach Wayne Johnson.
Norman Borth and his wife of 42-years will enjoy his retirement, along with their three children and five grandchildren.
“I am going to do whatever I want when I want. It will be so different to not have to get up and know I have something to do. Someday in the future if someone is looking for a part time track coach, I might be interested. I am still going to be a fan of Jourdanton Athletics. I can not tell you the last time I missed an Indian Football game,” stated Borth who never missed one track meet or Cross Country meet during his 44-years of coaching.
Last but not least, the seventh principal that has supervised Borth is Mr. Keith Chapman. He was honored to speak about Borth.
“Norman Borth is and has always been a class act. He worked as hard the last day he taught and coached as when he first started teaching. Room 102 at Jourdanton High School has only known Norman Borth. He touched a lot of lives over the years. The sophomores are mad that the freshmen don’t have to take Coach Borth’s World History class next year. They say that is unfair. He will be missed not only in Jourdanton, but in the Texas coaching world. Good luck to him as he works on Wand’s list each day,” Chapman stated.
“I want to thank all of the parents, administrators, peers and the school board for allowing me to work for Jourdanton for 44-years. It was a fun ride and an honor and one I will miss,” Norman Borth stated in closing.
Even though he will be “stir crazy” when the spring comes around, maybe just maybe a district down the road will need that part time track coach. Would anyone else in the region or state have a resume as impressive as the one you just read about for consideration?
Congratulations, and happy birthday Coach! May God Bless you and your family in the years to come. J-town has officially lost a good one; a Brush Country legend that is.
P.S. Who will run the 2012- 2013 Daetwyler Relays?