Carrico: What's in a name....a lifetime
On a sunny afternoon, Denton Independent School District hosted members of the community who shared barbeque and tales of a ‘gentle giant’ for whom the district’s new athletic complex is named, Bill Carrico.
An appropriate tribute given the impact Coach Carrico had on so many student-athletes during his time as an educator, coach and athletic director. In 1979, Coach hired Dr. Ray Braswell as a teacher and athletic trainer, a fortuitous hire since the new 5A high school campus on which the Carrico Athletic Complex supports the building which bears Dr. Braswell’s name.
Prior to his passing in 2016 and upon learning the complex would bear his name, Coach Carrico said, “It’s really nice to have so many people say so many positive things about you to get an honor like this. And it’s fitting to receive this honor with Ray (Braswell). I’m a little older, but we did a lot of things together, always talked about how to do things right and live our lives right. … It’s a tremendous honor that we’ll always share.”
Coach Carrico served as a teacher and coach for Denton High School from 1962 to 1974, assistant principal at Strickland Junior High (now Strickland Middle School) from 1974 to 1976 and transitioned to Denton ISD’s central administration in 1976, serving as its athletic director until his retirement in 1997.
“Years ago, when I was applying for the Ryan High coaching job, my father told me the first person I needed to contact was Bill Carrico,” said Joey Florence, the district’s athletic director, during the dedication ceremony. “He was synonymous with athletics in Denton.”
A longtime Denton County resident, Coach Carrico graduated from Denton High School in 1955 and North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) in 1960. At NTSU, Carrico was a member of the football team, was named an All-American and was recently named to the UNT All-Century team.
Despite retiring nearly two decades prior and up until his passing, Coach Carrico maintained a commitment to helping Denton ISD students learn. In his free time, Carrico mentored students at Borman Elementary for several years.
“We hand selected some of the students to work with Coach,” said Robert Gonzalez, administrator and former Borman principal. “He had this gentle, but stern or direct way of helping some of our young men rethink their choices – just with one word or a certain look. Magic.”
During the complex dedication, several former players and colleagues visibly laughed when speakers alluded to Coach Carrico’s way of encouraging people.
“I know most people will see our father’s name on this complex and remember him for his athletic accomplishments,” said Joy Carrico, his daughter. “But for us, having our name attached to this complex means so much more – family and a father who loved each of us to the fullest.”
To watch more about Coach Carrico and the Carrico Athletic Complex click here