LUBBOCK, TX - Simply put Tony Wagner is the face of Estacado basketball,
"man i love this place you know i think it's the best job in Texas."
Coach Wag came in as an assistant in 2000 and took over as head coach in 2006.
Since that year, the Matadors have had only one season with less than 20 wins,
Coach Wagner credits the success to one simple phrase.
"As soon as they walk into our locker room there's a big sign over the door that says tradition never graduates you know no one person is bigger than this program god forbid something would happen to me today they may cancel the game the tomorrow but Friday's game is going to be played."
For coach Wagner it's about more than just wins and losses on the court he wants his players to be setup for success when they leave the program,
"more important than basketball is their education you know that's the main goal that they're here in school for and that's not a politically correct answer either i really believe that and anyone in our building they'll tell you that and so i want them to leave with core values of being disciplined in what they do, work hard and do right by people."
Wagner has taken the Mats to the state tournament four times in his career.
In 2010 along with his son Kevin, Estacado brought home a state championship to Lubbock for the first time in 59 years.
But it's about what the kids have done after graduating that is more important to the longtime coach,
"five or six years later three or four of them had actually graduated college and they are all working now and they are productive citizens, that's more important to me than the state championship."
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