Thomas Jefferson High School gained a new softball coach and gym teacher this year.
This new school year introduced a new gym teacher and coach at TJ: Coach Alex Alcala. He currently teaches Weight Lifting, a class where students learn their way around the weight room, and Team Life, where he coaches students how to play team sports and work together.
A Texas native, Alcala grew up in San Antonio, Texas, living there until he was 18 when he decided to apply for the U.S. Navy with a friend. Living in the military, he gained a lot of worldly knowledge, as he constantly traveled to different countries and continents such as places within Africa. Alcala’s jobs within the Navy included harbor security and law enforcement on the bases where he was positioned.
After six years of being in the military and traveling around the world, Alcala decided to go back to Texas in order to further his education at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He received his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and a master’s degree in business. During his time in San Antonio, Alcala had a job that led to him being the assistant coach for training Division I athletes, which involved drilling players in weight and speed to further their skills in their individual sports.
Growing up, Alcala played a variety of sports in high school, from baseball to soccer to basketball. His love for sports pushed him to apply for a job as a middle school gym teacher in Denver, Colorado, which was the push that he needed to move him out here to Denver. Sometime after having the job at his middle school, he decided to take an open teaching job at TJ. “I’ve always had a passion for sports, and just being active. When there was an opportunity to coach sports [at TJ], I jumped on it.” Alcala has coached softball for the whole of the fall athletic season alongside Coach Lisa Kelley.
Even though Alcala has only been at TJ for a short time, he absolutely loves it. “The kids are great … It’s been an awesome experience. I’m so glad to be here,” the coach enthused. Not only does Alcala love the people and the environment here, but the students also seem to think very highly of him. “Coach Alcala has a really good regimen. He has a great plan for us to improve ourselves,” said Kyle McPheron, a senior in one of Alcala’s weight training classes. “He carries great energy and makes us want to work harder.” For students, having an energetic and supportive coach pushes them to want to work harder, and kids such as McPheron have definitely felt the spry atmosphere in his class.
Alcala is effortlessly adapting to life at TJ. Even though he has just lived in Denver for a year and a half, he still is finding time to relax and find his place after being deployed for so long. Spartan athletes have found their match with Coach Alcala, who shares his high energy with students in order to push them further and find out how strong they really are. With a passion for teaching, Alcala and TJ make the perfect pair.