Like father, like son

Bruce Coachman and Austin Coachman share on their mutual passion for education


Parker Nolan

Assistant principal Bruce Coachman and his son Austin both currently work on campus.

Father and son Bruce and Austin Coachman embody the age-old saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” in more ways than just personality and mannerisms. The two, who both pursued careers in education, found themselves working for the same district, at the same school, and at the same time.

“Austin actually earned a job here while I was still working in Frisco. Probably around ’07 or ’08,” Bruce said. “I have known Ted Moore since the early 1980s and saw him at a Frisco High/Lovejoy football game. He asked if I would be interested in applying for a position at Lovejoy. I was and did in 2009.”

Bruce, who was once a football coach and is now an assistant principal, looks back to the time he calls a “defining moment” for Austin and his future: a moment where Bruce began to realize that he “probably had more [influence on Austin’s career choice] than [he] realized.”

“[It] was at about 12 a.m. after a football game his junior year, I was a coach and he was a player. After games some of the younger coaches edited the game tape and he walked by and was very interested,” Bruce said. “We were leaving and he said something to the effect of ‘Dad, that is really awesome. I want to do this as my job someday.’”

Holding a great amount of admiration and respect for his father, Austin said he strives to take on each day with a lesson that his father instilled in him.

“He taught me that there are no days off,” Austin said. “Even if you’re kind of sick, it’s important that the kids see you. His mental approach to his job – being there every day, locking in every day – that’s something that I strive to do every day and something that I see in him.”

While there are positive sides to working in the same building, both shared the stigma associated with their shared workplace that tends to be both disheartening and untrue.

“Some people erroneously perceive that I have anything to do with his working here,” Bruce said. “I did not have anything to do with his hire. I do not supervise or evaluate his performance on any level. He needs to maintain a professional relationship with his peers and have their trust. No staff member should ever fear sharing professional opinions in his presence, thinking they might get to me. They don’t and won’t.”

Bruce and Austin had nothing but good things to say about each other, both displaying their mutual admiration and respect. Bruce emphasized his pride in his son and commented on his gratefulness to work alongside him.

“He has extraordinary conscientiousness with regard to all the aspects of his job,” Bruce said. “I am routinely and spontaneously told how good a job he does, by people who have nothing to gain by saying so, and that he is selfless and giving; always willing to assist when asked. He grew to a confident and responsible human. It is a great pleasure to work in the same district with him.”