Highly respected Jerry Bomar has announced his coaching retirement at Callisburg in Northeast Texas. Bomar established himself as one of the state's top coaches with numerous coaching stops, including Grand Prairie where his son Rhett Bomar (currently with New York Giants) was one of the state's top quarterbacks.
"There comes a time where you get a little tired, and you need a little rest," Bomar told Herald Democrat writer Bill Spinks. "People say it's hard to retire after being in coaching for so long. I guess we'll find out."
Bomar led Groesbeck to a 1991 Class 3A state championship, then later he led Class 5A Grand Prairie to five seasons of 5-5 or better in a seven-year stretch from 1996-2003.
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Bomar also coached at Atlanta (1982-85), Trinity Christian Addison (1986-88), and Killeen (1992-95) and began as an assistant coach at Mesquite and Texarkana.
Bomar was an all-state quarterback at Sherman High School and went to Texas Tech, where he lettered for the Red Raiders in 1974 and 1975 and stayed on for two years as a graduate assistant.
In the past seven seasons at Callisburg, Bomar coached the Wildcats to 41 wins, more than any other coach in Callisburg's 58 years of football. The changes in attitude he drilled into his program resulted in six postseason wins during his tenure and a state semifinal run in 2009.
The Herald Democrat featured Bomar, a Sherman native, in an appropriately story summarizing his distinguished career.
Bomar is retiring from Texas football after 35 total years of coaching, 29 as a high school head coach, with a career total of 185 victories that puts him just under the top 100 all-time in the state.
Bomar's son, Rhett, is currently on the practice squad of the New York Giants after being drafted in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL draft. Rhett Bomar started at quarterback for three years at Grand Prairie and signed with Oklahoma, later transferring to Sam Houston State after getting caught up in a pay scandal.
A relatively short drive to Norman to watch his son play made the Callisburg job attractive to Jerry Bomar at the time in 2004, and the match endured even after his son's transfer.
"I like living out at Lake Kiowa, but coaching at Callisburg was fine and I had a lot of fun," Bomar said. "I got a lot of enjoyment out of watching a school that had never won a playoff game in the history of the school win six of them."
Bomar's hard-nosed, demanding style transformed a sleepy football backwater into a consistent winner in a few short years.
He inherited a Callisburg program in the throes of an 11-game losing streak and promptly put an end to that in his first game, a 37-7 win against Nocona. By his third season, the Wildcats were in the playoffs, and they posted winning records each year from 2006-09.
In 2008, the Wildcats defeated Paradise and DeKalb to reach the region semifinals for the first time. Then in 2009, the success jumped off the charts.
The Wildcats went on a major roll in the Class 2A Division II bracket, beating Jacksboro, Melissa, Caddo Mills and McGregor to reach the state semifinals, where they finally fell to Bushland, 42-34.
The Wildcats wound up with a school-best 12-3 record, and Bomar was named the Herald Democrat All-Texomaland 1A-2A Coach of the Year for 2009.
"It was an incredible season," Bomar said. "Our coaches and players meshed well. That will always be a great highlight for me. That kind of success doesn't grow on trees."
Last year, after the loss of 18 seniors to graduation, the rebuilding Wildcats dropped to 2-8 but didn't leave without a few more highlights -- in particular, a 21-20 upset win over Goldthwaite, ranked No. 1 in the state in Class A.
Callisburg also played a seven-point game against Gunter, which is still alive in the state quarterfinals, and battled Pottsboro and Howe -- both 9-1 regular-season teams -- to decisions of seven and three points respectively.
"It was a tough year," Bomar said. "We had so many young kids; we started seven or eight sophomores ... but we got better as the year went on.
"We had a really difficult schedule, too. A lot of people don't realize how the schedule gets tougher after you have success because people don't want to play you. It was a learning experience, and the kids played hard all year."
Still only in his 50s, Bomar has plenty of wide-open options. He could choose to come out of retirement, enter a new line of work, or move to a neighboring state to coach so he can double-dip, a common practice among educators.
"I've got a couple of things in mind, but we'll wait and see," Bomar said. "I wouldn't rule out anything. After 35 straight years in coaching, I've got to sit back and relax. But I'm not going to be sitting around and doing nothing. I've got to be doing something."