PHARR-SAN JUAN-ALAMO (KVEO) — The last name “Gilpin” is very well known in the Rio Grande Valley.
From 2018’s Mr. Texas Football Player of the Year, Landry Gilpin, to Mission Vets seasoned Head Coach David Gilpin, this family has a story to tell from many angles.
A story that continues to evolve. David Gilpin’s youngest daughter played volleyball and ran track for the Lady Patriots. She was a two-year letter winner, earned first-team all-state, second-team all-state, MVP, offensive MVP, and team captain for three consecutive years.
After high school, she played volleyball for the Javelinas at Texas A&M University-Kingsville for two years.
Now, she returns to the Valley to leave a greater mark on the education system.
“Coach [Lupe] Rodriguez called and asked me if I would be interested and he told me I would start off with girls basketball,” said Shania. “We didn’t know if I was gonna do track or wrestling, wrestling just happened to have an opening, so that’s how I ended up here.”
While finishing classes to become a special education teacher, Shania begins as a teacher’s aid at PSJA High, and an assistant coach to the Lady Bears basketball team and wrestling team.
“Well, I wanted to be a Coach of course because of my Dad,” said Shania.
Shania is now following in a similar path that her Dad took years ago.
“To see her coaching at 24, at the same age that I started coaching at 24 has been just really neat.”
The two have always been close. Growing up playing sports, Shania looked to her Dad in some of the best and worst times on the volleyball court.
“It was awesome, he was never hard on me he still got to play the fatherly role but got to do it from a coach’s point of view. He knew how to talk to me so he understood how I’d be feeling after a game whether it was a good game or a bad game he knew what to say cause he had that coaches point of view so it was fun, a lot of fun actually,” said Shania.
Now, in her new title as “Coach” she looks to her Dad for new advice.
“I’m able to talk to him when certain situations happen or I experience something new, he likes to give me his point of view and he tells me how to deal with things.”
Though Shania admits she has never played basketball or been a part of a wrestling team, her new athletes don’t seem to care.
“She’s been a really good asset to the team,” said junior Jessica Villanueva, who just helped her team win the district championship, and punched her ticket to the state tournament. “Besides our other coaches in the past, she’s been a real step up and she’s actually been helping us giving us advice on things and she’s always there for us so she’s been really good to our team like she’s been a good team player.”
Now, Shania trades in her blue gear for maroon. The other Coach Gilpin 30 minutes away in Mission, has a new team to cheer for.
“I’m a PSJA fan now,” said David.