For almost 35 years, Bryan Dausin has been driven by a passion for coaching and the opportunity to be a mentor to the scores of young lives he's touched at five schools in San Antonio.
One of the most successful high school football coaches in San Antonio history, Dausin never has forgotten that teaching and coaching are one and the same.
"I went into coaching to always do what's best for kids, first and foremost," Dausin said. "That's what I've tried to do from the beginning."
By all accounts, Dausin has remained true to his mantra.
"That fits him to a T," Taft assistant coach Abel Trevino, who played for Dausin at Roosevelt, said Saturday. "That's who he is."
San Antonio high school football fans will remember Dausin as the coach who guided Roosevelt to the Class 5A Division II state championship in 1995 when the Rough Riders finished 16-0. No other area state champ has ever won as many games in the UIL's largest classification.
While that's the pinnacle of a career that began at Jackson Middle School in 1985, it's only a part of Dausin's rich legacy in education.
Dausin, the only head football coach Warren has had since it opened in 2002, was in the news recently when he announced his retirement. Dausin, 58, will remain on the job until his successor is hired in the coming weeks.
"I'm kind of an old-school guy," Dausin said. "I've been brought up that way. I feel that it's time to get out of the way and let these younger guys take over, too. I never wanted to be one of those guys hanging on to the job just to be hanging on.
"Times change. Things change. Sometimes it's best to move on. I've been very blessed and I have no regrets. I appreciate all the support I've gotten over the years from administrators, coaches, kids and parents. It's just been a wonderful experience."
After eight seasons as an assistant at Lee, Dausin started his head-coaching career in 1994 at Roosevelt, his alma mater. He went to Marshall three years later, leading the Rams to the 1999 state quarterfinals and 2000 state semifinals in five seasons. Dausin went 165-107 in 24 seasons and guided his teams to five district titles and 13 playoff appearances.
Trevino, 40, has a unique perspective on Dausin's role as a coach and mentor. He was an offensive tackle on Roosevelt's state-championship team and started his coaching career under Dausin at Warren in 2009.
"Even to this day, and I don't work for him anymore, he checks up on me, still looks out for me," Trevino said. "I owe him everything, like my job, the man I am today. The thing about Bryan is that he always put kids first.
"Anytime you needed Bryan, whether it was on the weekends or whenever, he was there for you. He was like your second dad, and to some guys, he was like a dad. You wanted to play for him. You wanted to give everything because he believed in you."
After coaching for 33 consecutive seasons, Dausin isn't quite sure what he'll be doing when another school year starts in August. Dausin hasn't ruled out returning to coaching as an assistant. He stepped down at Warren not because he was tired of coaching, Dausin said, but because he was "kind of burned out" by the rigors of being a head coach.
"If it's the right situation, you bet," he said when asked if he would consider coaching again. "I would entertain that. I feel I have another 10, 15 years in me to coach. I'm kind of burned out on all the other things a head coach has to do, but the coaching part, being around kids, I still enjoy that."
For the time being, Dausin plans to get away from the grind and enjoy some free time.
"I'm going to relax right now, just chill out," Dausin said. "I'll see what kind of opportunities are out there. I'm definitely thinking about doing something part-time. I want to keep working a little bit. It could be anything.
"It could be sales or coaching. I have some things that have come up that I'm kind of looking at, that I might pursue. I can do other things. I don't have to coach. I may wind up just sitting in my back porch drinking a diet Coke and smoking a cigar."
A former standout offensive lineman at Texas A&M, Dausin played in the USFL after completing his college career in 1982. When the USFL folded after the 1985 season, Dausin returned to San Antonio to begin his coaching career.
"Bryan had been an outstanding player in the Southwest Conference and played pro football, but when he was through playing he came home and started out as a middle school coach," said former Northside ISD athletic director Dub Farris, who hired Dausin at Marshall in 1997 and persuaded him to take the Warren job.
"He didn't think he was too good to start off at a middle school," Farris said. "That speaks volumes of Bryan. You have some guys who played Division I ball that come in and want to start their career as a coordinator."
While Dausin's easygoing nature belied his competitive ferocity, he was never so driven to win that he lost his perspective. Getting a "W" was important, all right, but so was teaching his players lessons that resonate long after graduation. Dausin's sphere of influence has reached far beyond the field and transcended sports.
"I hired a lot of good coaches in my career, but Bryan was one of the best coaches I've ever known," Farris said. "He not only did a great job with the kids he coached, he had a positive influence on the younger coaches he worked with on his staff. He was a role model to them."
Farris and Dausin developed a strong professional relationship that evolved into a deep friendship.
"I owe so much to so many people who helped me through the years as a player and a coach," Dausin said. "I've been blessed to be around some great people. You work with them and you learn, take something from each of them. But Dub Farris became one of my best friends and was my greatest mentor. He taught me how to manage coaches and treat players. He's phenomenal."
Farris retired as NISD athletic director in 2003, but he returned to coach as an assistant for one season. Not surprisingly, it was at Warren.
"It was a great experience for me, especially coaching with Bryan and the staff he had," said Farris, who was on Dausin's staff during the 2013 season. "I always knew he was a great coach and great guy with no ego, but it wasn't until I went back and coached with him that I realized the positive effect he had on so many people."
Whether it's been at Roosevelt, Marshall or Warren, Dausin always has made the football field an extension of the classroom. The cornerstones of the programs he's headed have been grounded in attitude and discipline. Everything else flows from that.
"I think those two things are what stand out in my mind as being important," Dausin said. "We're going to go out there, and this is how we're going to look. This is how we're going to play. We're going to have great effort. We're going to have class in how we do things, sportsmanship and all those things. I think the head coach sets that vision, and I think it's something that you sell to your kids.
"They buy into it because you work hard to be honest with them and develop their trust. All kids want to be understood, but most of all, they want to be praised. Understanding that and knowing that, you can motivate kids and get them to do things they never thought they could."
Dausin coached both of his sons, Ross and Rex, at Warren.
"That was special," Coach Dausin said.
Ross, who graduated in 2008, and Rex (2012) both were quarterbacks and completed their football careers at Colorado State-Pueblo.