Perez balances roles as teacher, father

 

Francisco Perez is a teacher and coach at Thompson High School in Alabaster. (Contributed)

Francisco Perez is a teacher and coach at Thompson High School in Alabaster. (Contributed)

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, educated and graduated high school in Houston, Texas, Francisco Perez played baseball for Odessa Junior College for two years then won a scholarship to play for the University of Montevallo.

“Baseball is my favorite memory … while in high school we won the state championship three years in a row and finished second in the nation,” he said. “Those moments shaped me into the coach I am today.”

For Perez, Montevallo was equally successful for him as he played for one of the best University of Montevallo teams ever, winning the regional championship and finishing third in the college world series, earning his BA in science and meeting wife-to-be Stephanie. (She was a volleyball player at the University of Montevallo).

“After baseball I felt lost, as if I had lost my identity and didn’t really know where I belonged. I tried the business world but it was not for me,” said Perez.

Stephanie Perez had spotted a job as a bilingual specialist at Thompson High School. Long story short, Perez got the job seven years ago.

Perez and wife Stephanie have a seven-week-old baby girl named Sophia.

“Already she has stolen my heart. We go as a family to Westwood Church and it is such a blessing,” he said.

Helping with girls and boys varsity basketball, coaching varsity baseball with Coach Pat Hamrick and being a teacher, mentor, father and husband places a full plate on Perez.

“Being part of the Warrior family and watching us grow every year, I can’t believe how far we’ve come. We are building what is going to be one of the finest high schools in the state,” he said.

“It is enjoyable when some of our former players come back by the school to tell us what they are doing … makes me feel I am right where God wants me. It is our job to help them become productive individuals and successful in their careers one day.”

Coach Perez loves Thompson High School and the city of Alabaster.

Perez says, “Everything is possible as long as you work hard and believe in yourself.”