The ancient sport of track and field is a family affair at Liberty Christian School in Argyle; and, coaching brothers Zack and Trent Vest are leading the way.
Zack, the LCS Athletic Director and girls head track and field coach, has led the Lady Warriors to top-three finishes at the State meet in each of his four years at the helm, including a State Championship in 2015.
Trent, the boys head track and field coach, led his team to a second place finish at State this year and also brought home a State Championship in 2015 for the Warriors boys team.
With the level of success the Liberty Christian track and field programs have enjoyed in recent seasons, it is clear that the Vest brothers have made quite an impact.
“I have only seen benefits to having my brother coach the same sport as me,” Zack said. “We think a lot alike; and, although we may do some things different, the underlying philosophy of both programs is very similar.”
The Vest brothers grew up playing football, baseball and competing in track and field, and Zack also played basketball; carrying on a family pedigree that is filled with sports.
“My dad started his career as a coach and athletic director,” Zack said. “He also played college football. My mom’s family is also very athletic and my great grandfather, on her side, was a head football coach and athletic director. I am one of four boys and all of us played sports growing up.”
Trent said that he and Zack are pretty much in sync when it comes to coaching styles, because the two of them have been at it for so long.
“We don’t have to bounce too many ideas off each other anymore,” Trent said. “We have coached track together since we were both in charge of the middle school program over 10-years-ago. We have used a lot of trial and error to find the most effective ways to get the most out of our athletes in the short amount of time we have them for track season. At the same time, we are eager to help each other out if needed. We do share coaches and drills on occasion.”
Zack began his coaching career in 2002 at his Alma Mater, Celina High School, where he enjoyed great success coaching a different sport.
“I was fortunate enough to be on the staff when they won the first baseball State Championship in school history,” Zack said.
When he started at Liberty, Zack coached several sports, including football, basketball, baseball and track. Then, Trent came to LCS in 2004—a decision he said he has never regretted.
“I was finishing up my degree at Texas A&M and was doing an internship with a company that was making me rethink my career path,” Trent said. “Zack was at Liberty and suggested I contact Coach Mark Bowles (former athletic director) to see about coaching. I made the call and have been here ever since.”
Trent said he has found a home at Liberty Christian School that has welcomed he and his family into the community in a special kind of way.
“Liberty is a special place,” Trent said. “It has been a second family for me since 2004. My kids have grown up around this place. I have had the opportunity to be mentored by some of the most Godly people I have ever met and have been able to learn from their example. I have had the opportunity to coach hundreds of kids and, hopefully, point them to Christ along the way. There is more to this job than just teaching and coaching.”
Zack agrees with his brother about the coaches who have come through the Warriors athletics program over the years. He said the faith aspect is something they both strive to carry on.
“This is the main thing of not only our school, but our athletic program,” Zack said. “We feel that if the only thing athletes learn going through our program, is about their sport, than we have failed. We believe our job is to teach young men and women lifelong lessons and use the Bible as our guide to do so.
“Christ is the fiber that holds all this together and it is up to us to make sure that we communicate that to our athletes.”
Zack said that he was impressed with the way his team overcame the graduation of a large senior class in 2017, to finish third as a team and field one of the top programs in the state this season.
As for the boy’s team, Trent said that, in addition to being a very successful season, 2018 proved to be a great learning opportunity for his athletes as well.
“One of the things I love about sports is how much they mimic life,” Trent said. “This season was a great example of that. We had to work really hard and overcome a lot of adversity just to have a chance to compete at the State level. The season started off really slow, but the kids kept on working hard. They kept showing up to morning weight workouts.
“They kept encouraging each other to get better. We gradually got better every week. Eventually, we were competing at a high-level with a lot of confidence and team pride. It was one of the more memorable seasons for me as a head coach. I don’t think I could be more proud of all the hard work and dedication these boys put in; and, the results were there to prove it.”