Bulldogs News · February Alumni Watch – Sam Houston HS Teacher/Coach Mr. Ivan Loya

Since I have been doing the alumni watch, I have expressed one of the best parts of being in the education profession is that from time to time you will have former students stop by and or you can see them grow thanks to social media. February’s Alumni Watch in a way stopped by to say hello when I was working at the district track meet last year. Ivan Loya was a multi sport athlete while he was here at Tech and is now giving back as a teacher coach down the road at Arlington Sam Houston High School and is February’s Alumni Watch. With my schedule and wrestling getting ready for district wrestling meet this Friday and Saturday I sent him some questions and here are Coach Loya’s answers.

What year did you graduate?


What was your major while you were here at Tech?

Advertising Design 

What sports did you play while you were here at Tech?

Freshman year – Football/Soccer

Sophomore year – Football/Wrestling/Track 

Junior year – Football/Wrestling/Baseball trainer (because of injury)

Senior Year- Football/Wrestling/Baseball

What are your favorite memories from your years at Tech? 

So many memories hard to narrow down a few. But here we go… 

On the athletic side of it, I still remember the practices and workouts that I went thru. Go hard or Go home. Running laps on the staircases in front of the building 4 floors over and over, and staying after to run and lift some more after practice. Then came a day that I realized how hard work pays off. We wrestled Timber Creek High School which had the 5th ranked Heavyweight in the state. “Today you have a chance to test what you’ve been working so hard towards…” said Coach Atherton. Long Story Short, I won. Hard work paid off that day! One of my favorite athletic moments. 

I enjoyed Mrs. Powell’s class. I won the Who’s Who award for her advertising design class. Mrs. Powell really brought out a hidden talent of mine. I may not be in the advertising design field, but I still find myself using many skills that I have learned in her class.

One last memory that will haunt me forever… 

I won the “Most likely to be remembered” yearbook award.  Unfortunately I had one failing six weeks grade on my report card my senior year, which disqualified me from receiving the award. Lessoned learned. Keep your grades up.  

Who was your favorite teacher/lesson learned at Tech?

Coach Atherton, How to go the extra mile in achieving success. 

“Every good athlete goes to practice, they listen to their coaches, they work hard, but what are you going to do to set yourself apart from them at the end of the season?”

You can apply this lesson in almost anything you do.

Did you ever imagine you would end up teaching/coaching at a high school early on in high school?

I did not know I wanted to coach until my senior year of college. I choose to major in marketing which goes hand in hand with advertising design. During my time in college I learned that as long as you have a bachelor’s degree of any kind, that you can also earn an alternative teaching certification to become a teacher, which meant I could coach too. I do enjoy teaching, I get to teach real world scenarios to seniors in high school thru Economics, helping them prepare and think about their futures. My mother also has been a teacher for most of my life, which I feel that I take after, on the teaching side of things. She’s been a wonderful mentor for me.  

On the coaching side, because of my athletic experiences, I have grown a passion for coaching young athletes and helping them get to the next level, whether it be continued competition or just helping to continue their education and preparing them for the world.  

What was the moment, at Tech or otherwise, that you knew being a teacher/coach was what you wanted to do?

After Athletics was done for me at Tech, I did not feel like I had reached my maximum potential in athletics. Which drove me to continue competing in college. When I felt I was approaching the end of athletics during my college career, I began to feel the same as after Trimble Tech. Thru many reflections, I realized that it was not the feeling of being unsatisfied, but how much I would miss the sport. I eventually began my alternative teaching certification coarse during my last semester in college. When I graduated with my degree I was granted my teacher certification. I had volunteered much of my time in many high school wrestling rooms giving back to the sport. When it came time to Apply for coaching positions, it was a smooth transition. Many doors had opened up for me. Which ultimately kept me around the sport that I learned to love. It was meant to be. 

At this point, what has been your best moment in your life teacher/coach related or in life in general?

When I became a teacher and Coach. Gives me the opportunity to work with young student and athletes that might need that extra push of motivation, just as teachers and coaches motivated me.

What do you do on a daily basis in regards to teaching/coaching/being a husband?

I impact lives for a better future. 

Why do you do what you do?

To impact the lives of young student and athletes towards a better future. 

Do you think Tech prepared you for college life?

I believe the relationships I built with certain teachers and coaches at Tech helped prepare me or at least motivate me to continue down the path I choose. 

What is the biggest adjustment from high school to college classes/life?

Responsibility. Learning how to manage your time. You might spend less time in class during college but you still must put in the time studying. You spend approximately 40 hours a week in school during high school and in college you spend 20 hours at most in class but you still must spend the an additional 20 hours (at the minimum) studying for those classes in order to be successful. 

You also have to learn to prioritize your time. School, Work, Athletics, Social life, Church, Hobbies? Only so much time in the day, and YOU will have to decide what is more important, because ultimately these decisions will affect your own future. Choose wisely. 

Where there any obstacles in your path from high school to where you are now that you would be willing to share and explain how you overcame them?

I had my beautiful daughter Zoe when I was 20 years old. But instead of using this excuse to not continue to go to school and just work, I used it as a motivator to continue in school and work to be able to offer her more opportunities than what I had when I was growing up. It’s an example that I’m setting for her when it becomes her time to write her own path, it can get hard it times, but giving up is not something we do. 

I managed to own a house and financially sustain a household while working and attending school. It took a while, it was not easy, I took semesters off, then went part-time, then full-time, some semesters I even went over-time. But at the end it was all worth it. Giving up was not an option. 

What if any advice would you give high school students, especially seniors, who might want to get into teaching/coaching? Any profession really? 

I did not know what I wanted to do after high school. I’ve learned that it is ok not to know yet. BUT, you do need to act the part of being successful in the future. You can still do all the right things by getting good grades, having good attendance, Learning time management skills, good study habits. Reach out to people who care, teachers, coaches, parents, counselors.  By learning and doing what successful people do, you will have many more opportunities to choose from when it comes time to choose a profession.  

Where do you see yourself ten years down the road?

Building a successful proven athletic program that helps mold young student athletes for a better future.  

Also hoping and praying that I’ve done a good job preparing my two daughters for life after their own high school careers. They will be 18 and 21 years old.

What is the ultimate goal/dream for coaching/life?

To building learners today and Leaders tomorrow. One student athlete at a time.  

Anything else you would like to add?



I want to thank Ivan for giving us the time to catch up and see just what he is doing for his students at athletes an Sam Houston. Wish you and them the best of luck this Friday/Saturday (unless you/they are wrestling any of our Bulldogs) during the District Wrestling Meet. Please let me know how you did and if you can get some photos I will update those here. Who knows, some day in the future Coach Loya might find his way back to Tech after Coach Homer retires. We wish you the best of luck sir and congrats on being an awesome teacher/coach/father/husband and Alumni of Trimble Tech!

As always we are always looking for the next Alumni Watch Honoree, please check on this link if you know of anybody and let me know.

Looking for “Alumni Watch” honorees, anybody alumni doing great things we’d like to know to spotlight them!