HOUSTON – Charles West has always had goals in life.
For his career, the first was to be a coach. Then move up and be a coordinator. The next natural step after that would be the head coach of a program.
That is what he has done for the past nine years at Humble High School, leading the Wildcat football program. His next goal on his list – athletic administration.
West is getting that very chance, accepting the Coordinator of Athletics position inside Spring Branch ISD.
"I definitely wanted to see some success at Humble when I got here and get them to the playoffs. I believe I've done that," West said in a phone interview with VYPE. "God's opened doors and it was just an opportunity that I didn't even know about but it just popped up and it happened."
West led Humble back to the playoffs in 2019, which was the first time for the program since 2010. The Wildcats went 10-3 that season.
But that's not the highlight or most memorable moment in his Humble High School coaching career. In fact, his top moment doesn't even have to do with what happened on a football field.
The 2016 season is the one he will never forget. That was the year that West lost his wife, Latasha Smith-West, after a prolonged battle with lupus.
"The biggest season was 2016 when my wife passed and how the community of Humble rallied around me in support of whatever I needed to do to take care of my wife, my family and kids," West said. "Just the wealth of support that the Humble community gave me through that process was the biggest thing that is going to stick out to me. It's not the wins and losses. It's going to be the support they've given me since being here."
Humble High School has played a big role in West's life and with everything they went through over the years, including managing Hurricane Harvey, the lessons learned will carry with him for life.
"It's just taught me so much about people and how to take a step back and listen and try to figure out what the issues are and help people grow in the profession," West said. "All those things have meant so much to me. I love these kids, that was the hardest thing about taking a job like this and moving.
"Troy Kite and his staff have molded me into a great leader on the administrative side as well as the coaching side."
West is not done yet at Humble High School as he will finish out his remaining contract with Humble ISD. He is excited to see the seniors off, West said and hold one more signing day for the athletes.
As far as his new job and working with Spring Branch ISD Athletic Director Paige Hershey, West is thoroughly excited to start this next chapter.
"First thing is that [Spring Branch ISD] is a well-known district in the Houston area and I think a lot of Paige Hershey and her staff," West said. "I've known several AD's through my career but the only one I've worked for is Troy Kite. I think she'll be another great mentor to me in this profession and to help me grow as an athletic director. Just looking at the work of Spring Branch ISD was part of the reason why I wanted to see if there was an opportunity for me to work out there."
So, what about walking away from coaching football, game-planning on Sunday afternoons for the next week and those hot August days getting ready for a season?
"I'm going to miss all of it but just like anything else that is a chapter in my book that God has blessed me to turn and go to the next chapter," "When God says it is time to turn that page, it's up to us to listen. I believe I prayed enough and met with pastor enough that it was time to turn that page and go on to the next journey.
"But I'm going to miss everything about football but I'll still be around it and athletics."