Intro Episode


The intro episode will tell you most of what you need to know about the podcast host, Erik Thormaehlen.  It's weird to talk about yourself in the third person, so I'll just say it... the intro is about me and I paid a guy a small amount to do it.  Thanks to some great voice-over work, take 90 seconds to walk through the major points of my career as an educator in the State of Texas.  This episode gives you a brief description regarding my time on the school board at the age of 21, a teaching and coaching career, experiences as a high school principal, involvement in bringing football to UTSA, and so much more!  After reading this, you probably don't have to listen.

Check out the intro episode below though if you're interested:


You can also download on Apple, Google, Spotify, Overcast, Breaker, Overcast, RadioPublic, and coming soon to Podbean, TuneIn, and Stitcher.

Instructions for how to download on Apple can be found at the link below:


Episode #1 Tommy Bludau


Published April 15th!  

Listen now at: 


Published April 15th!  

Coach Bludau is 37th all-time on the Texas High School Football Coaches wins list.  He led teams in Columbus and Boerne to the State Semi-Finals.  He led Yorktown to the State Quarterfinals and Schulenburg to the Regional Playoffs.  Coach Bludau had a profound impact on each community he worked in and you won't want to miss this incredible story of the career of one of the best ever in Texas.  Oh and... is he done coaching for good?  Listen now and find out! 

Check out one of the short previews below!



Check out the Schulenburg Sticker at:


Episode #2 Mike Williamson


Published April 15th! 

Listen now at:

Part 1


Part 2


 Erik sat down with retired Coach Mike Williamson and recorded a riveting episode of Tale Lights.  Coach Williamson coached the 2002 Bandera Bulldogs to the State Championship in 3A Texas Football in a double overtime victory against Midland-Greenwood.  Coach Williamson had several other coaching stints in Pearsall, Eldorado, and Uvalde that are covered, as well. 

Check out one of the short previews below!



Four of these available now, two coming soon!

#3 Ron Mills


Follow Coach Ron Mills career from his first head coaching job out in Groom, TX., to a 1983 state championship season in Bay City, all the way to the Blue Bell factory in Brenham, with several stops along the way!  We will discuss the likes of Hart Lee Dykes, Joe DeLoach, and Rocky Road Ice Cream.  It's going to be an interview full of sweet memories.  One thing Coach Mills let me in on prior to the interview was "I've got a few stories and they get a little bit better every year!" 


#4 Larry Taylor


Placed in Boysville at the age of 7 (in San Antonio, TX.), follow as Mr. Larry Taylor tells the story of being one of the first captains of the football team in Judson Rockets history, to an education and administrative career that has spanned over forty years.  With stops all over the Concho Valley and San Antonio, this promises to be an episode you won't want to miss!  Mr. Taylor has most recently served as the Education Service Center Region 15 Field Service Agent & Director of Administrative Services, as well as serving as an interim superintendent in many small districts throughout the San Angelo area.  We don't stop at just discussing his career, we go deep into school finance, relationships, and accountability.  This episode is perfect for people that serve in administrative capacities and feedback is welcome.  Please be sure to disclose whether or not you wish to remain anonymous, should you choose to provide feedback to my e-mail.  You wishes will be respected.


#5 Cagen Chaney


Do you have coaches on your staff that need to get a CDL?  Do they not even know where to begin?  Join Cagen Chaney and I as we walk through the process of getting the CDL in this day and age.  Coach Chaney has been teaching and coaching for two years and we promise to have some helpful and enjoyable stories about the process of obtaining a CDL, for the purpose of driving a school bus, in the State of Texas.  Not only that, but he (and his wife) Amanda have a brand new baby girl, Birdie Jo Chaney. We take a little bit of time at the end to discuss the balance of teaching, coaching, and being a new parent.

Listen  now  at:


#6 Mike Chaney


Coach Chaney was a Head Football Coach at Whiteface, Era, Bowie, and Alvord,  Coach Chaney then went to work for John Fellows at Iraan, before later being a coordinator on a state runner-up football team at Iraan, alongside Head Coach Mark Kirchoff.  We discuss the season that included tragedy and triumph in Iraan, TX., the abundance of tumbleweeds out in the region of Whiteface, the historic 11 win season in Era, TX., along with the first (non-tie breaker assisted) playoff victory in school history, a challenging transition to a larger classification, and a great run in Alvord that includes two memorable playoff games against Goldthwaite.  Tune in to listen to each and every step of Coach Chaney's career.

Available now at:


#7 Paul Darden



Paul Darden has coached the Sundown HS Cross Country Teams to 12 state championships, 6 boys, and 6 girls. Coach Darden grew up in Midland and went to college at Texas Tech. We talk about his time running in high school, the start of his career in San Antonio, 5 years in Lubbock ISD, 2 years in Tomball, and nearly 30 years in Sundown. Along with walking through the course of his career, we spend time discussing track & field and cross country, what events we’d like to see added, what changes we’ve liked over the years, and numerous other thoughts and philosophies regarding the sport of running.

Available now at:


#8 Danny Threadgill



Coach Danny Threadgill was the first Head Football Coach of the Boerne - Samuel V. Champion Chargers!  He came to Boerne to work for Coach Tommy Bludau as a coordinator at BHS.  When Coach Bludau moved on, Coach Threadgill took over the reigns in Boerne and then later had the distinct challenge of opening up a brand new school and football program at Champion High School  Coach Threadgill and Coach Bludau still remain as the only two football coaches in Boerne history to ever win 12 games, although a few others have come close.  Coach Threadgill did an incredible job with kids in the track and field program at Boerne and we'll go deep into that.  Coach Threadgill will discuss his stops in Yorktown, Bruceville-Eddy, and Boerne.  

Special thanks to Russell Hawkins for the photo!

Set to be recorded Thursday night, hopefully ready for download by Friday/Saturday 5-24/25

Upcoming Episodes

# TBD Rick Bachman


Join Coach B and I as we discuss coaching, administration, and transitioning to the oil field!  We're headed out west to Fort Stockton, and we'll be talking a little bit of Ozona, just to a name a few.  More information coming in the near future!  Coming in June!

#TBD Dave Fulkerson


This episode will be a dream come true for many of my former teammates and I.  Coach Dave Fulkerson coached in Boerne ISD for many years, capturing 6 state titles (2 at Boerne HS and 4 at Sam Champion HS).  Coach Fulkerson also won a state title in Hawaii, took a team to a third place finish in Oregon (where he grew up and even raced against Steve Prefontaine in the mile relay) and to this date is the only coach in Texas High School Cross Country to coach a team to the NXN National Cross Country Championship (2009).

Coming in June!

#TBD Stan Leech


Yet another episode of self-indulgence, as I sit down with Coach Stan Leech.  Coach Leech is very unique in the State of Texas.  Most ADs are head football coaches, but when Stan Leech got the chance to assume the Athletic Director position in Boerne, he unleashed an era of unmatched athletic success in the small community by hiring quality coaches, supporting all programs, and loving kids.  You won't want to miss out on a podcast that is sure to include some great Sam Champion stories, and many stories about some of the best times in Boerne history, including his start in Yorktown working under episode #1 guest, Tommy Bludua.  Coach Leech amassed over 800 wins as a head basketball coach and took teams in Boerne to the state tournament on two separate occasions.  Coming in June!

#TBD Russell Hawkins


One of the few reporters I've ever liked!  Russell Hawkins has photographed some of the best athletes and biggest events in Texas sports.  We'll be talking about his time in the USMC, no doubt about it  He's got stories about Spike Dykes, Jim McMahon, and so many more!  Mr. Hawkins is a quiet and very humble man, and I can't wait for this sit-down interview to start chipping away at the great stories of a man that has been an unsung hero in making high school athletes feel like a big deal for a long time... whether they were a big deal or not.  More info coming soon!

#TBD Richard Herbst


The thought of the sound of his clip board slamming against the wooden floor is a not so distant memory that sticks with me to this day.  Coach Richard Herbst was the most intense basketball coach I ever watched, and with a vested interest at the time, I attended more than a hundred girls basketball games during my time at Boerne HS.  Coach Herbst was so filled with passion and was such a joy to watch coach.  A career that spans from the college ranks (Howard Payne University, Colorado State University, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and Schreiner Unversity) to Rogers, Austwell-Tivoli, Boerne, Copperas Cove, and San Antonio Clark.  Not only was he a great basketball coach, but he was excellent in the classroom! We will discuss his entire career and transitioning from the college to the high school ranks.

#TBD The Kniffen Crew


I plan to have each of the Kniffen's listed as their own episode in the near future.  Novice, John, and Barry Kniffen all reside in Menard, TX., on a beautiful Pecan farm in one of the most wonderful towns in Texas.  Join me when these podcasts are available as we talk about Novice's time in Vietnam, each of the coaches careers, and how you can get your hands on the best pecans in Texas!! 

Coming Soon!

Devlyn Lovell


 Coach Devlyn Lovell has coached teams at the Antonian College Preparatory High School to 15 state championships.  We will be talking all about the TAPPS world and in the middle of two runs at Antonian, we'll talk about Coach Lovell's transition to the college world, before coming back to the high school level.  Track and Field fans will want to listen closely, as well as those coaches out there that often think about the college ranks.  We'll go deep into the process of making what is practically a career change, as we follow Coach Lovell's career from San Antonio all the way out to New Mexico and back.  We'll talk all about his time running in college and going to Thomas C. Clark High School in San Antonio... What was that area even like before they built the rim and La Cantera?  We can't wait to hear it all!  

Bob Ledbetter



His Texas Sports Hall of Fame Biography says it all!


We're going to discuss the 72 game winning streak, three state titles, and everything else one might imagine.  This will be a podcast you can't possibly afford to miss.   Targeted publishing date is early June. 

Weldon Nelms


Coach Weldon Nelms amassed 242 victories throughout his coaching career.  Coach Nelms career traveled throughout Springlake-Earth, Rotan, Wimberley (twice), Iowa Park, Glen Rose, and Weatherford.  Coach Nelms coached two perfect 15-0 teams during his time in Wimberley to state championships, and coached another team that went winless in Iowa Park.  He has seen the ups and downs of coaching football and we will talk all about how you get through the difficult times, how you manage kids during the great times, etc.  We will travel throughout each stop in his career and hear about all the good food to eat in numerous places, while talking a little bit about football along the way.

Scott Hippensteel


 Coach Hippensteel has been the coach of the Lockhart Lions Cross Country team for more than thirty years.  During that time they've produced district championships, regional championships, state championships, and division 1 athletes at an incredible rate.  I can't wait to visit with him about his invitational meet that is a sea of maroon that includes the cheerleaders and the band!  Hear all about how cross country became a really big deal in Lockhart, Texas.  I once had the privilege of listening to Coach Hippensteel at the Cross Country Coaches Clinic and if this interview is anything like what I listened to on that afternoon, you're all in for a real treat! 

Brent Kornegay


Join me as we go into the home of current George West ISD Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, Brent Kornegay.  We will be talking Llano, Orange Grove, Yoakum, and George West.  What it's like coaching where you grew up, and so much more!  Targeted publishing date is late May.

Billy Nabours


Coach Billy Nabours spend more than two decades at Comfort High School.  He was one of the most recognizable coaches in the area, and loudly supported each and every one of his runners.  He had kids participate at the state meet in just about every event imaginable, along with sending boys and girls teams to state in cross country throughout the years.  We will be talking about dealing with the press, TRS, the responsibilities of a great substitute teacher, and much much more.  Coach Nabours recently retired and now works for the Kerrville Newspaper, and substitute teaches.  He spent time years ago in Angleton working for the newspaper, prior to beginning his career in education that saw stops in Weimar, Harper, and Comfort.

Coming Soon!