This Summer eParisExtra is connecting you with the athletic directors of Lamar County schools. This week we introduce you to Paris High School Athletic Director Steven Hohenberger.
Steven Hohenberger started as the athletic director at Paris High School in May of 2013 and is continuing to make memories with his athletes.
Hohenberger was born and raised in Paris, Texas, and graduated in 1993. He attended Southeastern Oklahoma University on a football/baseball scholarship, earning First Team All-Conference three years and All American two years as a linebacker. Hohenberger started his coaching career at Irving Nimitz in 1998 as defensive coordinator for six years before coming head coach/athletic coordinator in 2006.
Hohenberger has a wife, Heather, who also teaches at Paris High School. Together they have three boys: Luke, ninth grade, Trevin, seventh grade, and Tannon, fourth grade.
Hohenberger said he picked coaching as a career because of all the coaches and teachers who made an impact on him growing up. When asked what was most rewarding about being an athletic director, he said the relationships formed.
“Relationships that you form are the most rewarding,” he said. “Being able to teach, motivate and lift up each student is rewarding to see the success.”
Hohenberger’s philosophy of winning vs playing time for grades K-12 is biggest at the sub-varsity level. He says this level is the primary focus in developing athletes to compete at a higher level. His goals for each athlete include participation, priorities, fundamentals, and basic formations and plays.
“Sub-varsity level in PISD is a primary focus to the development of players to compete at the varsity level in the future. Overall evaluation will be on players that transition to the next grade level and participate. The desire to win at these levels is strong and encouraged, but again not at the expense of the other goals,” he said.
Goals emphasized by Coach Hohenberger:
- Participation – make sure if they come to practice and have a great attitude they play / quality experience for all athletes involved;
- Priorities – God, family, academics, and sports;
- Fundamentals – enthusiasm and hustle; and
- Basic formations and plays.
“A successful experience for the athlete involves the communication triangle between the parents, athlete, and coach,” he said. “If handled correctly with both parent and coach working together for the benefit of the athlete, the experience can be extremely positive. Parents must also be aware that there is a delicate line between support/encouragement and interference.”
Hohenberger sets standards for what he believes is an appropriate role of his athletes’ parents.
- Focus on the team. This focus helps adults not only get attention off their individual child, but also off all things that are not in the parent’s control (i.e., the score, the referees, the opponents, coaching and playing conditions).
- Communicate with the coach if concerned with the following: mental and physical treatment of the child, ways to help your child improve or concerns about child’s behavior.
- Inappropriate areas of concern that parents should not discuss with their child’s coaches include: playing time, team strategy, play calling or other team members.
“Athletics play a major role in a students development,” he said. “Athletics teaches discipline, sacrifice, leadership, motivation, executing a plan, problem-solving, determination, etc. All of which a student-athlete will use in real life. Athletics and life go hand-in-hand.”
“Coach Hohenberger is a very dedicated man,” said 2018 graduate, Jordan Furtch. “He doesn’t care who you are as long as you show him you’re all in and willing to work, he will give you an opportunity, that’s what I love about him. Throughout his time mentoring us, he’s not afraid to admit his own mistakes, which I think is important in leading young athletes in the right direction. The last four years he has really shown us that he is all for his athletes and PISD.”
In the last five years, Paris Athletic Department has won 13 total district championships.