Anything worth having doesn't come easy and Coach Shelton Ervin will be the first to tell you just that.
Earlier this summer, he was named the boy's track and field Coach of the Year for the state of Texas by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). This week, the USTFCCCA awarded Ervin the boy's track and field National High School Coach of the Year.
"It is a huge honor for this kid from humble beginnings and a testament to the coaching staff, athletes and support that I had this year. It's also huge for the Summer Creek community," Ervin stated. Ervin was born in Jasper, Texas before going on to earn high school All-American track and field honors at Houston Westbury and then competed at the University of Kansas and the University of Houston.
In May, the Humble Summer Creek head coach led the team to their first Texas UIL track and field state championship since winning the 2013 UIL 4A team title. However, the win was anything but easy.
In atypical Texas track and field fashion, Summer Creek won the state championship by only getting points from one relay. The 4x400 Relay finished second when it ran 3:15.59 for 16 points. Summer Creek scored points in many other ways . . . four other ways. The team won the 110 Hurdles, discus, and the high jump events for 30 points and then added eight with a 800m runner-up.
Not only was taking on the best coaches, teams, and athletes in the state of Texas a challenge Summer Creek faced, but Ervin, his staff, and his team faces other obstacles.
Summer Creek fought hard to avoid COVID cases throughout the season. Health and safety became even more important after some key expected contributors decided not to participate this season.
The team lost a full week of training due to the deep freeze that hit Texas, "we decided to control the controllable(s) and not worry about the varsity athletes who quit, the freeze, or any other adversity. We focused more on problem-solving and solutions during those trying times," Ervin said.
This entire season has been one for the books, and besides the untimely passing of one of our student-athletes to an ATV accident, this season shaped up to be magical. One that I am grateful for is God's Grace while navigating choppy waters.
Shelton Erin, Summer Creek head coach
The 2021 season was even more eventful for Ervin personally. He was recently married, welcomed the birth of his first child, he had to manage the program through the loss of a teammate, all the while continuing his education in graduate school.
Ervin is quick to gives credit to his support and staff. He has three event specific assistant coaches and all three coaches contributed by coaching an athlete to an individual state title. "The support I received from my coaching peers in Houston and through the state of Texas has been outstanding. More importantly, the coaching staff (all sports) at Summer Creek is one big family, and many supported us through the championship season and all of them were even at the State Track and Field meet. I'm proud of hiring my twin brother (Elton Ervin) to be my first assistant, and seeing him coach a state champion and win a ring is something Im proud of."
Ervin becomes the third Texas track and field coach to win the National Coach of the Year Award. Juris Green of The Woodlands won the boys award in 2017 and DeSoto girl's coach June Villers won the award in 2019.
This ranks as one of the top accomplishments in Ervin's career. "Easily at the top of the list. I'm more proud of how my circle and I handled the adversity. Avoiding catching COVID, no power for 2 plus days, the passing of a student-athlete, and being in the hospital for six days with my wife while she gave birth to our daughter. My coaching staff did not miss a beat during these moments.
This entire season has been one for the books, and besides the untimely passing of one of our student-athletes to an ATV accident, this season shaped up to be magical. One that I am grateful for is God's Grace while navigating choppy waters. I would never have predicted to be a 4.0 graduate student, National COY, Girl Dad, and lead the guys to a 6A State Championship all in the same year. Truly a blessing."