Coach Karre’ Wallace has a unique perspective on life, leadership, and the transformative power of sports. He uses it daily to influence young people as a fourth-year football/track coach and physical education teacher at Northbrook High School in Spring Branch Independent School District (SBISD).
In 7th grade, Coach Wallace aspired to play professional football and made his dream come true through hard work and perseverance.
Throughout school, he played football and continued following his passion when he headed to Bolivar, Missouri – 11 hours away from home – to attend Southwest Baptist University.
“Going to college was a culture shock,” Coach Wallace recalls. “It was an eye-opening experience, but it helped me grow as a person and a ball player.”
From there, Coach Wallace took his talents overseas for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play professional football in Germany,”
“I had done it. I was living out my childhood dream and savored every moment. I realize that not many people have that chance,” he said.
Finding Another Purpose
A series of concussions and other injuries sidelined Coach Wallace from playing the game. He also felt the need to return home to be more involved in his little brother’s life.
“The desire to be present for my family was there, and at the end of the day, nothing is more important,” said Coach Wallace.
After returning home from overseas, Coach Wallace soon found another passion and purpose: education.
Moving to the teaching profession was not a difficult choice for Coach Wallace. He grew up in a household where his mother was a teacher. Several of his cousins were teachers, too.
“I watched the impact my mother had on the lives of young people, and I wanted to do that, too,” he said. “I knew I could do so both as a teacher and a coach.”
Growing up without a biological father around also influenced his decision. Throughout his life, Coach Wallace relied heavily on his coaches at Nimitz High School to provide guidance, discipline, and a sense of purpose that he didn’t receive elsewhere. He wanted to do the same for other young men.
After getting some experience under his belt at a school district across town, Coach Wallace eventually found his way to Northbrook High School, working for Andre Gomez, campus athletic director, where his task was to rebuild the football program.
Under his leadership, Northbrook High School snapped a long-running losing streak, an accomplishment Coach Wallace is proud of.
Winning at the Game of Life
But winning ballgames, while it’s something he desires for himself and his players, just as every coach does, is not his end goal. Coach Wallace wants something greater for the young men who look up to him. He wants to teach them life lessons along the way, so they have what it takes to become great husbands, fathers, and community leaders.
“I want to build great men,” he said.
In doing so, Coach Wallace integrates SBISD’s Core Characteristic of a T-2-4 Ready Graduate, by teaching students to be persistent and adaptable by responding positively to feedback, embracing the idea that failure is part of success, learning from their mistakes, and keep moving forward.
“Playing football should instill a purpose for each young man who takes the field,” he said. “I believe playing the game can help you build confidence, teach you the importance of honoring commitments, and help you learn how to respond positively to adversity.”
At Northbrook High School, Karre’ is not just focused on what’s happening on the football field. He is also helping students in his physical education class build healthy lifestyles. In his classes, Coach Wallace stresses the importance of physical activity, proper nutrition, and healthy eating habits. He firmly believes that teaching these habits early in life can set the foundation for a healthier and more fulfilling future for his students.
Being a Family Man
Coach Wallace’s passion for teaching and coaching extends well beyond the school walls and practice fields. As a dedicated family man of two little girls (ages 3 and 4), a 2-year-old boy, and another boy on the way in November, his commitment to his family fuels his desire to be a positive influence in the lives of his students.
“In coaching, you become not just a teacher of the sport but a mentor, a role model,” he said. “It’s essential to lead by example, both on and off the field, which I try to do in every aspect of my life.”
Building a bright future
As he continues to guide his students and athletes at Northbrook High School (and prepares to take care of his growing family!) Coach Wallace remains focused on shaping young lives. In talking to him for just a short while, it is evident that he wants to make the most of every opportunity for his students as he helps them develop not just into athletes but as strong people who can persevere and overcome life’s challenges.
“Life has a way of throwing curveballs,” said Coach Wallace. “But how you respond to these challenges defines who you are.”
While he is dedicated to Northbrook High School, firmly believing you should grow where you are planted, Coach Wallace harbors goals for the future. He dreams of one day taking his coaching skills to the college level, perhaps to the FBS College Football. It is an aspiration that reflects his unwavering commitment to the sport and his desire to continue molding young athletes into champions on and off the field.
In Coach Wallace, Northbrook High School has found not just a coach, but a mentor committed to building brighter futures for each student who crosses his path. He is passionate about instilling values and inspiring resilience regardless of the obstacles.