STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
MARBLE FALLS — Faith Academy of Marble Falls officials twice tried to hire Jeremy Wentrcek as its football coach and director of athletics.
The third was the charm as Wentrcek said “yes” to both positions June 7.
He said he never would have guessed a few weeks ago that he would be in Marble Falls, noting he was in a good place at Round Rock Christian, the school at which he’s worked since 2014.
During the past two years, he and his wife, Cindy, had been praying over a list of things. When the opportunity at Faith came along, Wentrcek was able to check off many of those items.
It also helped that Faith Academy board chairman Stuart Nunnally is a friend.
“I’d gotten to know the administration team,” Wentrcek said. “They’re all great people. The chemistry we had during the interview, it was very easy to talk to and get along.”
Former Faith Academy Administrator Mark Earwood tried to hire Wentrcek in 2012, but he had just taken a job at Fredericksburg Heritage after leaving education for a year to work in the business world.
“The timing was just off,” Wentrcek said with a laugh.
At Round Rock Christian, Wentrcek began as an assistant coach and assistant athletic director. A year later, he was the head football coach. His football teams went 8-22 overall and 2-8 in district play and advanced to the playoffs twice.
Before that, Wentrcek was the athletic director and offensive coordinator at Fredericksburg Heritage, a powerhouse in the six-man private school arena.
During his 2½ years at Heritage, the Eagles played in two consecutive state championship games.
His six-man knowledge will definitely come in handy as the Faith Flames return to this format in August after several years as an 11-man program.
Prior to Fredericksburg, Wentrcek guided Temple Central Texas Christian to three state semifinals in the 11 years he spent there, first as an assistant coach then as head coach, from 1999-2010.
Along with coaching football, Wentrcek is a hurdlers specialist on the track. Overall, twenty-eight of his track athletes have earned state medals from the Texas Association of Private and Parochial School’s state meet.
Wentrcek inherits a Faith Academy football program that is in the midst of transition. The Flames spent the past five years as an 11-man team after being a six-man program from 2000-11. Now, the team is returning to six-man play.
Wentrcek said he learned plenty at his three previous stops, the biggest being an honest examination of personnel. That meant changing his schemes to suit the players’ abilities to give the team its best chance at success, he said.
“We had to utilize the kids we have correctly,” he said. “We want to be able to adapt to the kids.”
What impressed Faith officials, however, was Wentrcek’s commitment to “Kingdom Athletics,” a character-based athletic model that has given his life purpose because it emphasizes living “abundantly in Christ while building spiritual champions, warriors, and game changers.”
This model will be a cornerstone for Faith Academy student-athletes and coaches.
“We want to build champions for Christ through the development of character athleticism, servant-leaders, and competitive excellence,” Wentrcek said. “We’re funneling everything we do through one of those four.”
As servant-leaders, athletes understand they can do more than simply work on themselves, that their greater purpose and what makes them happy is serving others while also leading.
Wentrcek called competitive excellence a big goal for Faith Academy athletics.
“We feel that striving for competitive excellence is a big accomplishment,” he said. “It’s more than just struggling to win. There are going to be some kids who play in college, but a lot don’t. Their high school career is where they are going to learn about life.”
Though he hasn’t been on campus yet, Wentrcek has been busy looking for head coaches in girls basketball and softball.
He also will be the liaison between the academy and Hellas Construction, the company charged with building phase one of the football field and track, which is scheduled to be complete by the time the football season opens in late August.
“That’s exciting,” he said of the athletic expansion. “That tells me they have a big priority on athletics, which is a great thing. We feel like education and athletics go hand in hand. That’s something that other people at other schools our size dream of.”
He and his wife have been married for 18 years, and the couple has two sons, Joshua and Josiah, who are 14 and 11 years old. Both will attend Faith Academy this fall.
The academy, 3151 RR 1431 East, is hosting a welcome reception for the Wentrcek family from 5-6 p.m. Tuesday, June 19.