The Houston Astros are the colossal favorites to win the 2019 World Series, but one HISD coach’s loyalties are torn between the hometown team and his former student, Washington Nationals third baseman and Lamar High School alum Anthony Rendon.
“There’s not a jersey around that can have both the Nationals and the Astros on the same side,” Lamar head baseball coach David Munoz said. “I’m not going to lie. Having a kid play in the World Series is special. I am rooting for him.”
Rendon, who has been instrumental to the Cinderella Washington Nationals team that advanced to its first-ever World Series, is just one in a long line of students that Munoz has motivated during his 22-year tenure at the HISD campus.
“He’s helped me in so many different ways – especially staying focused on what’s important,” Lamar senior and pitcher Matthew Mackey said. “Coach Munoz is definitely someone you want to play for.”
For the last 8 years, Munoz has served as Lamar’s head baseball coach, where he helps his student-athletes achieve success on and off the field using a process mindset approach.
“We have goals and expectations, but we believe that the way students achieve success is through the processes,” Munoz said. “We have four rules in our program – be on time, do your job, trust your teammates, and re-evaluate the processes.”
According to Munoz, that mentality can be applied to all aspects of life, whether it be passing a math class, commanding a curve ball, or, like the Lady Texans Softball team, finding a place to practice when one is lacking.
“Coach Munoz is always the first to help Lamar softball. He has always opened his doors to us,” senior and Lady Texans infielder Emiliann Burns said. “He’s helped grow our game by not putting any limitations on us.”
He may not manage the Lady Texans, but to them, Munoz is a surrogate coach and support system, making sure to never draw a line between the softball and baseball teams.
“He doesn’t separate us from the baseball boys. He treats us like his own kids,” senior and softball player Megan Duffy said. “It helps me knowing that I have more than just my own coach as a support. I have his support, as well.”
As the years have gone by, Munoz has learned from experience that its not always easy getting his student-athletes ready for life. But he has expectations for them and has set standards for them to meet. Past students like Anthony Rendon have set the bar high, and the Lamar Texans are ready for the challenge.
“If you’re determined to do something and are going to work hard for it, he’s going to help you get to that next level,” senior and softball player Julissa Rivera said. “He’s there to bring you up, not bring you down.”