By Charlotte Hartshorn
Andres Cantu is currently the Assistant Athletic Director for Weslaco Independent School District. A native of Weslaco, Cantu grew up in the school district playing various sports before moving to Bowling Green State university to peruse his degree in Sports Management, graduating in 2007. Mr. Cantu is a sports enthusiast, and enjoys watching sports from the middle school level, all the way to the professional leagues.
Quote from Oscar Riojas:
“Andres has been a tremendous addition to our family here at WISD. He has transitioned well into the new position and has quickly developed a great working relationship within our staff. I firmly believe that his assistance, drive, dedication, commitment, and love for students will continue to be an inspiration to me and our department. Our programs and students are the sole beneficiaries of his determination and dedication for success.”
- As the Assistant Athletic Director, what are some of your main day-to-day duties?
“One of my main duties as the Assistant Athletic Director is to assist the Athletic Director, Oscar Riojas, with anything that he needs to make his job easier. Effective communication is very important when one is in a leadership role; being a team player and always putting the kids’ interests first is key. One of my main duties is to be visible at team events such as practices/games, showing support to all programs. As an athletic administrator, you want to make sure that the kids are being taken care of, and that we are doing everything in our power to create an overall experience for them. I am also responsible for the overall leadership, administration and assessment of the middle school programs, including supervision of four middle school coordinators, many coaches, as well as the budgets of these programs.”
- What sports have you coached in the past and what are some of your accomplishments achieved in these sports?
“In the past, I have worked for both University of Texas- Pan America and the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley. I had the privilege of travelling with the men and women’s tennis teams during their seasons, which was a lot of fun and exciting to be so close to the action when the student-athletes were performing on the court. It was easy for me; all I did was talk positive and give out a lot of positive energy- nothing negative. It was a great couple of months for me and a great learning experience.”
- What do you believe to be some of your strengths as an Assistant Athletic Director, and what are some areas you would like to develop in the future?
“One of my main strengths is loyalty. To run a successful athletic office, you have to be both loyal and committed, and take pride in the job. Additionally, I feel that developing meaningful relationships across the whole school district and other districts in the state of Texas is important to continue to build our athletic department, another strength I feel I possess. In the future, I would like to work towards growing the number of athletic programs and participants in athletics, with the overall goal of educating the importance of sports to our students in Weslaco ISD.”
- What are some of the athletic administrative projects you have conducted or been a part of, and how have these helped you to develop your career as an Assistant Athletic Director?
“Being an Assistant Athletic Director, or an athletic administrator in general, you have to wear many hats to be successful. You should know about facilities and construction, athletic equipment, turf, scoreboards, game day management, security- the list goes on! I have had the privilege of being part of several big projects at WISD. We have re-laid turf for our main football and soccer stadium, resurfaced the track and field facilities, and are currently in the process of constructing a new scoreboard. This has helped my career by allowing me to acquire a better understanding of what it takes to make these projects a reality. It has also assisted me in having a further knowledge of the financial responsibility we have as a district within our athletic programs. Understanding the importance of facilities so our fans, alumni, student-athletes, coaches and friends feel pride in our city and athletic programs is important to providing our students with the opportunities they need to excel in the classroom, on the field, and in the community.”
- Where do you see yourself and your career in five years time?
“I hope to share my passion and pride in the accomplishments of WISD athletics over the upcoming years, and want to help inspire coaches and student-athletes to maintain a highly competitive and sound athletics program. I additionally want to help the many individuals in the athletic programs to continue to reach a standard of excellence in athletics, consistent with the mission of WISD. I aspire to help build a premier athletic department that shines brilliantly throughout the Rio Grande Valley and beyond within the state of Texas, with the overall goal of providing all student-athletes a great educational experience through athletics, to reach their life goals.
- What is one fun fact about you that very few people know?
I am the life of the party! I’m really good at breaking the ice around people I don’t really know.