STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
AUSTIN — Six years ago, Gus Beuershausen took a chance on chasing a dream he gave up in 2001. On June 1 of this year, as he stood on the Red and Charline McCombs Field after the Class 3A state softball championship game, the 1995 Marble Falls High School graduate probably felt a million miles away from the car lot where he worked for more than a decade in his hometown.
Beuershausen grew up in Marble Falls, and his family name became almost synonymous with Mustang sports —particularly baseball. He followed in the footsteps of his older brother Lee onto the baseball diamond. In 1993, then-Marble Falls High School baseball coach Ronnie Scearce named Gus, a sophomore at the time, the starting shortstop.
Almost 25 years later, Beuershausen still looks back on his high school coaches, including Scearce, David Denney, Lonnie Tackitt, and Kyle Futrell, as the men who helped shape his life.
“Those are the men who inspired me to become a coach and teacher,” he said.
After high school, Beuershausen went to Texas Tech University and graduated in 2001 with hopes of becoming a coach and a teacher.
Only, graduation didn’t bring a bevy of job offers. Instead, he headed home to Marble Falls, where he got a job selling cars. It offered a good living, but it wasn’t teaching and coaching.
As life does, Beuershausen’s continued on, day after day, year after year. Slowly, his dream of coaching and teaching slipped through his fingers.
Many people would have left it there, tucked away as one of those “could-have-beens.”
But Beuershausen couldn’t get past what he experienced as a Mustang football and baseball player when Marble Falls made annual trips in both sports to the playoffs. Six years ago, when the chance to coach baseball and teach history at Little River Academy High School came up, Beuershausen jumped at it.
He was living his dream, but it would take slight turn.
Four years ago, at the end of Little River Academy’s summer baseball camp, the school’s athletics director, Mike Nichols, found Beuershausen to tell him the head softball coach had just resigned.
“It was not my idea,” Beuershausen said. “I’d never considered (coaching softball), but when I thought about it, I got really excited about it. Now, I’ll probably never go back to coaching baseball again.”
Since taking over as head coach of the Bumblebees softball team, the program advanced into the playoffs a little deeper each season. They didn’t make the playoffs in 2014, but in 2015, the team earned the bi-district crown. In 2016, Little River Academy was the District 20-3A runner-up and a regional quarterfinalist.
This year, the Bumblebees won district, and it was off to the playoffs. They eventually made it to the University Interscholastic League 3A state softball championship game on June 1 against Santa Gertrudis Academy at the Red and Charline McCombs Field on the University of Texas campus.
“We knew this was our year to make a run,” Beuershausen said. “We were capable of making a run.”
With the game tied 2-2 after 4½ innings, Santa Gertrudis Academy grabbed a one-run lead in the bottom of the fifth. One thing Beuershausen stressed as a coach was overcoming adversity, something his Marble Falls coaches instilled in him years ago.
His Bumblebees did just that in the top of the seventh, picking up three more runs to take a 5-3 lead. Then, the Little River defense sent Santa Gertrudis packing — three up, three down — in the bottom of the seventh to clinch the state title.
Beuershausen doesn’t miss the car business, though coaching and selling vehicles share at least one thing in common: long hours. That’s about where the similarity ends.
“Nowhere in the car business can you get the experiences that you get in teaching and coaching,” Beuershausen said. “The relationships, the unbelievable games, even in a loss; you have to appreciate being a part of something special. Seeing kids’ faces and their excitement after they’ve accomplished something they didn’t know they could do. Can’t get that in the car business.”
And you can’t get that if you give up on your dreams.