D.J. Khaled may sing “All I Do Is Win,” but Gary Joseph lives it.
In 12 seasons as the head football coach at Katy High School, Joseph has suffered just 14 losses. That’s against 168 victories, including four state championships and three 16-0 seasons.
Yet Joseph, who will be inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame May 7, said all the winning is not nearly as easy as Katy has made it look.
“It is hard to do,” Joseph said. “A lot of the success comes from the blue-collar nature of the kids. It took us a while to get to this level. When I first got to Katy, we weren’t very good. It was a struggle. But the kids stayed the course and had a trust and belief in what we were doing.”
Joseph’s baby blanket wasn’t an old football jersey, but it might as well have been. He was born into a gridiron family. Joseph’s father Eddie was a high school football coach who also served as the executive vice president of the Texas High School Coaches Association for many years.
Gary Joseph wasn’t forced into the game, but he allowed it to wash over him. By the time he was in junior high, he was dead set on his future career.
“It’s something I chose at an early age,” he said. “I saw that it was a great profession, what it meant to my dad. And I just knew I wanted to be able to impact kids in that way. It means a lot in our family, and I think it’s an honorable profession.”
Joseph played defensive back for his father at Wharton. After college, he embarked on his own coaching career.
He started out at Luling High School, where he admits to making a few visits to the town’s famed barbecue restaurant, City Market, when he wasn’t coaching.
After Luling came a two-year stint at Austin Westlake High School before he landed at Katy in 1982. Joseph said he and his wife, Sheila, always were looking for a place they could settle and raise a family. Katy fit them perfectly.
He entertained various head coaching offers in his 22-year stint as a Katy assistant. But none proved attractive enough to leave. In 2004, his itch to slip on the head-coaching headset was scratched when he finally got his shot at the school where he has stayed for so long.
Joseph pattered his style after his father, looking to build strong relationships with his players and his fellow coaches.
He also reminded himself never to take the winning for granted.
In fact, Eddie reminded him of that truth when Katy made its first trip to a state title game, while Gary was still defensive coordinator.
“He told me, ‘Enjoy every minute of it, because you may never get back there,’ ” Joseph said. “We’ve been in 13 of them, but I never take it for granted, because there are coaches who coach 30 years who never play in one.”
Each of Katy’s four state titles under Joseph, including the one from 2015, are almost like children to the coach. He can’t pick a favorite — and wouldn’t want to.
“All of them were great,” he said. “All of them were unbelievable experiences for the community and the team. We’ve been very blessed.”