By Taylor Grafft
Liberty Hill Panther Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Jerry Vance didn’t have to look very far to find the perfect fit for his recently vacant assistant coaching position left by Coach Heath Hohmann.
Coach Rudy Acevedo, formerly a line coach at Leander High School, has joined the Liberty Hill football staff and is already fitting into the Panther culture and buying into the system.
Acevedo was originally a coach from B.L. Gray Junior High School in Sharyland ISD for nine years, where they coached a Wing-T offense similar to what the Panthers and Coach Vance run. Now he will be coaching on the offensive line for Vance this fall.
“I like to think I came from some real good football roots,” said Coach Acevedo. “It was a great program (when I was there) and they still have a great program. When I started off in Sharyland it’s almost the same system that Coach Vance has here.”
Acevedo has been coaching in Leander ISD for the past five seasons and welcomes a new challenge and opportunity.
“I was teaching biology at Leander and coaching both the freshman and varsity teams as the offense and defensive line coach,” he said. “We had some fantastic years at Leander, but it was time to move on after five years. It was a great choice to come here to Liberty Hill. (Liberty Hill) has a great program and great history. I had always heard about Liberty Hill even when I was in South Texas when they won the two State Championship games.
Acevedo’s wife is a teacher at Rouse High School and he also has a daughter who is a sophomore in high school. Acevedo said it was great to get a coaching opportunity at a program like Liberty Hill that holds so much prestige across the state. It was also important that he and his family remain “close” to home.
With Fall football practice starting on Monday, August 4, Acevedo has been busy making in-home visits to meet the players as well as meeting the returning staff and assistant coaches that he will be interacting with in the office, locker room and on the sidelines.
“I was really impressed with the upperclassmen from my in-home visits,” Acevedo said. “I also got to meet some of the freshmen at camp this week, but a lot of them were missing so I’ll meet the rest on Monday. I’m just excited about the season and getting a chance to work with these kids. I’m a calm guy and coach in the office, but when I get on the field a switch flips. I just get really excited when it comes to football and I hope that I can get the kids I coach excited, too.”
“From what I’ve heard from the coaches, talking with my wife, and the administrators here the students and athletes here are great,” Acevedo said. “The students always have a pride about being from Liberty Hill. That’s one of the things I was looking for—an attitude of, ‘we’re from Liberty Hill, we’re ready, let’s go.’”
Acevedo also talked about the honor of working with a coach like Vance and the history and prestige that comes with him.
“Working with a legend like Coach Vance is exciting,” he said. “He’s got great character and has a great respect from the other coaches and that’s one of the things I really liked. Not only that, but Coach Vance has a respect for his coaches and his athletes. Just working at this type of football program gets me excited. I can’t wait to get things started on Monday.”
At Leander the team ran a spread offense that was designed to be a more vertical attack. Coming to Liberty Hill, Coach Acevedo is excited to get back to what he loved about Sharyland and the Wing-T, a ground and pound type of gameplan.
Acevedo will be working with the quick side of the offensive line, while Coach Scott Hawkins will be working with the strong side.
“The other coaches have been very respectful and helpful to me,” Acevedo said. “Hawkins has been kind of my mentor and helped me out since he’s the other offense line coach. We have a real good coaching staff and I’m happy to be here with them.”
Coach Acevedo will also be working with Coach Mike Kristan as an assistant coach for baseball.