Coach Spray grew up in Sundown, TX, graduating from Sundown High School in 1989. Though his father, and many others at that time in West Texas worked in the oil industry, his only desires were to either be a teacher-coach, or to be a rockstar. Despite the pull of the bright lights and influence of bands like Kiss, Van Halen, and Ratt, and fortunately for VHS students, Coach Spray never quite developed talents for music like he did for sports. His love of sports spurred him to play every sport he could in high school, and developed in him an appreciation for competition, teamwork, loyalty, and attention to detail that would serve him well throughout his career.
After high school, he pursued his dream of coaching by earning an Associate’s degree from South Plains College, and a Bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University. Wasting no time after graduation, he was hired to teach and coach at Merkel ISD, where he would stay for nine years, a nearly unheard of length of time for a young coach. Coach Spray prizes his time at Merkel, because he was able to learn the necessary skills for success through experience as he worked his way up from middle school, to freshman, to JV, to varsity, and finally to the coordinator level. The experience of learning from his fellow coaches and at each level has paid dividends for him throughout his career. He keenly understands that there is no replacement for doing the little things, and that successful coaches are coachable themselves.
After nine successful years, Coach Spray moved on to become the head football coach and athletic director at Early ISD, and enjoyed the role for five great years, but his desire to invest more time in his family led him to accept a coordinator position with Hawley ISD, where he was able to be closer to his family. After five outstanding years at Hawley, he finally made his way to Venus, where he has carried on his legacy of success. Coach Spray has a history of taking teams from the bottom, to the top at each stop in his career, and what he has accomplished at Venus has continued the pattern.
Terry is married to fellow VHS coach, Dayberly Spray, a more than accomplished teacher and coach in her own right. Coach Spray beams with pride when he has the opportunity to talk about her accomplishments and the success her athletes have achieved. While having two successful coaches in a household can be a challenge, they complement each other well and have each made sacrifices in their careers for the betterment of their family. School and sports may dominate the conversation throughout the week, but they relish the opportunity to sit down together and catch up on the weekend and what little time they have in between sports seasons. In what little spare time he has, he appreciates spending time with his family and watching his children learn and grow. Cooking out for his family on the weekend and watching the Venus Bulldogs throughout the week are particular sources of enjoyment.
Coach Spray is obviously proud to coach football, but is just as passionate about track & field. As an accomplished track athlete in high school, his love for the blend of individual and team efforts in track & field have stayed with him, and he enjoys the opportunity to heap each students, regardless of athletic ability achieve personal bests and achieve growth. Even if a student isn’t the best I their event, their personal progress is immensely important for the team, as the difference between a sixth and fifth place finish can have a big impact on a team’s overall score. He has a talent for helping students see their potential for growth, and for motivating them to work hard to achieve gains. From Coach Spray’s perspective, true success isn’t found in the win column, but rather in the personal bests that his athletes strive to earn.
Coach Spray credits his 27 successful years in one of the toughest jobs in public education to doing the little things that athletic directors or principals have asked him to do. He advises younger teachers and coaches to trust that their leaders have their best interest at heart, and want to lead you to success. The one thing he loves about his coaching career more than anything is the opportunity to be a teacher to his fellow coaches. He takes more joy from seeing his friends and peers succeed and grow in their careers than he could from any state championship. Coach Spray wants coaches to want to be on his staff. He works hard to invest into other coaches, and in doing so, is able to impact more kids than he ever could on his own. In his own words, going the extra mile to build effective coaches “is easy when it comes from the heart”. The students and teachers are beyond fortunate that Coach Spray’s heart is focused on making them better every day.
The Spray family is deeply connected and committed to the community of Venus, and are forever grateful for the support they received when their daughter, Kylie was injured in a horse riding accident that left her with a fractured skull. The Venus Bulldog family, led by Rick Lucas and Coach Gary Brown, stepped up and took amazing care of the family when they needed it most. The waiting room at the hospital during her surgery was past capacity with people they didn’t know loved them that much. The Spray family has been blessed throughout the ordeal and are deeply thankful for how the community of Venus has embraced them. To this day, Coach Spray wears the #spraystrong bracelet the community sold as a fundraiser to help his family so he can have a daily reminder of how Venus takes care of its own. The Spray family chooses Venus because “it has become home; it’s easy to enjoy going to work every day when you work for a great administration and with great students and coworkers.”
Coach Spray would like to brag on…
VHS Principal, Randall Buck: Coach Sprays says that he appreciates Mr. Buck’s dedication to taking the students and staff of Venus High School to higher levels of success, and that his commitment doesn’t waiver when the going gets tough. He appreciates Mr. Buck’s high expectations for his teachers, and that he is willing to support their personal growth to become world class educators.
Former VHS Principal’s Secretary and currently VISD Accounts Payable, Mrs. Paula Routree: He is awed by her inconceivable work ethic, and how she always bends over backwards to help anyone who needs it. She truly has a heart for the students and staff members of VISD.
Former VHS Coach Michael Chavez: During Coach Chavez’s time at the district he demonstrated incredible work habits that he leveraged to become a great motivator to our kids. Even though he has left the district, he still makes a point to attend games and support the Venus Bulldogs.