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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Bleeding maroon and white, a Guerrieri family tradition

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FILE

A&M soccer coach G Guerrieri has led the Aggies to 11 wins throughout the 2020-2021 season. 

As one of the winningest NCAA Division I soccer coaches in the nation, Texas A&M head coach G Guerrieri attributes his success to one key aspect of his life: family.
Gerald Guerrieri, who goes by G, graduated from the University of Tulsa in 1985 and began his coaching career soon after. Although he worked for multiple teams and universities over the next decade, Guerrieri said his biggest journey in life has been overcoming the difficulties of balancing coaching with fatherhood.
Guerrieri, still unmarried after leaving Tulsa, said he never expected to move to College Station and join the 12th Man.
“I was one of those people that didn’t understand Texas A&M,” Guerrieri said. “Even though I was raised here in Texas, I never really wrapped my brain around what being part of the Aggie Network was all about.”
This changed when he reconnected with Terri Markham, Class of 1987, at the pair’s 10-year high school reunion in 1991. The two quickly started dating and married a year later. Guerrieri was offered the job of head soccer coach at A&M in 1993 — he jokingly said his wife was the reason he got the job in the first place.
“Aggies take care of Aggies,” Guerrieri said with a laugh. “They were probably taking care of her more than they were hiring me.”
Over the next 12 years, Emily, Alan and Conner would join the Guerrieri family as G and Terri began having children.
G Guerrieri, remembering his own “complicated childhood,” said he didn’t want his children to experience the uninvolvement and lack of support he did while growing up. G said he struggled with this goal, spending less than three hours away from work most days, but he eventually found his footing.
His adoptive father — a “fast-talking traveling salesman” — was constantly on the road and did not get much opportunity to participate in his son’s life, consistently missing soccer games and school events, G said.
“I made it a point that I was going to be more involved with my kids,” G said. “If they were playing basketball, I would try to be the assistant coach. If they had an event, I would try to be there.”
Even so, G said the demands of coaching an NCAA Division I team took its toll on him and his family.
“It was common for me to be on the road quite a bit recruiting,” G said. “With young kids, they don’t understand why Dad’s not home. They had to live their early childhood with Dad in and out of the house.”
Wally Crittenden, G’s former assistant coach and now-assistant athletic director at Stephen F. Austin State University, said it was G’s wife Terri that held together the family unit during G’s early coaching career at A&M.
“This profession demands a lot of your family,” Crittenden said. “You’ve got to have someone that keeps you grounded. Terri is G’s rock. She supports him and understands what he does and why he does it.”
Alan Guerrieri said his parents never let the children know there were struggles within the home. Instead, he only remembers the moments his father was able to be present and involved.
“When I was 11, I would just watch him on the sideline [of A&M soccer games],” Alan said. “I wanted to do everything he did. My dad is a superhero; he’s gone from being my soccer coach to my life coach. He’s always there to pick me up and dust me off after a bad practice.”
The family eventually found its balance, G said, and refocused itself on making memories and growing as a solidified unit.
“Those moments are so fleeting,” G said.
With this newfound stability, G said his family and his work as a coach began influencing each other in what he described as a “symbiotic relationship.”
Now a sophomore punter and kicker for A&M’s football team, Alan said A&M’s soccer team did this by supporting him and his siblings growing up.
“I’ve always looked up to [A&M soccer players] as my role models,” Alan said. “I’ve really learned a lot from them. It’s cool to see them as my heroes when I was younger and to see them as my friends now.”
On the flip side, G said having children of his own changed his understanding of what players want or need out of a coach.
“I have more empathy now for what my young women are going through,” G said. “It’s mellowed me in my demeanor. My players that played for me from [19]94 through [19]96 would say that my temperament now is different from before I had kids.”
G said this mindset has expanded his family to include not only his wife and three children, but the hundreds of Aggies that have gone through his soccer program as well.
“I’ve developed our program to be that way,” G said. “We try to go out of our way and include the team in what we do as a family; that means dinners and phone calls and everything else. I want players coming to Texas A&M to know that they’ve got loving arms around them to protect them, support them and to help them grow.”
A&M freshman forward Laney Carroll said this support makes the team feel like a family itself.
“This team is special,” Carroll said. “That’s the only word I have to describe it. Everyone here has each other’s backs. Having that team unity is something that is pushing us. It’s special to know that you have people behind you. ”
Crittenden said G Guerrieri’s success as A&M’s longest-tenured coach is the result of his unlimited worldview when visualizing the future of his team and family.
“One of G’s unique strengths is dreaming,” Crittenden said. “He understands the universal impact he has. When you look at what G has done outside of the box, you see the importance of family, success and how he balances that.”
G credits his nearly three decades of success to the relationship he holds with his wife, children and players.
“Our family bond is rock solid,” G said. “I’m thankful that it’s something I can look back on later. God had a plan for me, and I’m in the right place doing the right things.”

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