The lead dog: Israel Gonzalez settling in as Lyford’s new AD/head football coach

LYFORD — It’s official, Israel Gonzalez is the new athletic director/head football coach for the Lyford Bulldogs.

Gonzalez comes to Lyford after a lengthy career at Harlingen High School where he spent the past 10 years pacing the sidelines for the Cardinals.

His coaching career at the high school level began as freshman football coach before making the jump to the varsity team where he coached the offensive line for several years before eventually becoming offensive coordinator under Harlingen head coach Manny Gomez for the past two years.

“When the position became available, I felt it was the right fit,” said Gonzalez. “Being spiritually led, there had been other opportunities that had opened up but the location and the tradition of the program just seemed like the right fit.

“After praying about it, it just seemed like the right opportunity and I have been blessed with this opportunity.”

Lyford ISD Superintendent Eduardo Infante said in a press release about Gonzalez: “We were very impressed with Coach Gonzalez’s resume. He comes from a great program and we are confident he will continue our tradition at LCISD by continuing to make great things happen here.”

Although Gonzalez is just settling into the new program and his new responsibilities, he already has his sights set on where he would like to see the program go.

“We’re definitely looking to break down some of the doors that haven’t been,” he said. “But obviously this program has been successful because they have made the playoffs the last five years. We are hoping to continue winning district championships and push the envelope, and make some deep playoff runs, and step into some uncharted waters for this program.”

Gonzalez comes into the program after Jaime Infante moved on to coach at Port Isabel after 15 years at Lyford. During his tenure, Infante reached the postseason 11 times and earned his 100th career victory last season.