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!



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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!



Available Now!

#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.

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#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 coached the first Boerne boys track and field program to a regional championship.  Coach Threadgill will discuss his stops in Yorktown, Bruceville-Eddy, and Boerne.  

Special thanks to Russell Hawkins for the photo!

Part 1 available now at:


Part 2 available now at:


Part 3 available now at:


Available Now!

#9 Paul Talbert


Coach Paul Talbert was the Head Football Coach in Palestine Westwood, Tuloso-Midway, Wall, Comfort, Malakoff, and Gorman.  Coach Talbert led the Comfort Bobcats to 80 wins in 8 years, multiple appearances in the quarterfinals and semifinals, and an athletic program that was experiencing a great deal of success.  All this success in a place that had previously won a single playoff game in the history of the high school football program.  Join us as we take an in depth look at the career of Coach Talbert and the rise of the Bobcats!  From his humble beginnings working in a meat packing factory after high school and saving money in a Skippy peanut butter jar so that he could attend school at Ranger JC, we load up a banana box and enjoy a wild two hour journey, that sees his time coaching in the college ranks, signing a two year contract with the Houston Oilers, and takes us through the life and career of Coach Paul Talbert. 

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#10 Bob Ledbetter


His Texas Sports Hall of Fame Biography says it all!


Three state titles, three perfect seasons, the 1991 tie in the semifinals, and everything else one might imagine. This will be a podcast you can't possibly afford to miss. 

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#11 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 this weekend!

Available now at:


#12 Bill Sultenfuss


Lt. Col. Bill Sultenfuss is a retired United States Marine and retired public educator.  When I moved to Boerne in 1996, living on Park Place created great opportunities to make friends such as, Chris Lowry, Brad Henson, and Matt Beaman, which led to a highly rational fear of the scary old guy who usually screamed at us, "Get out of my yard!", while dropping passes by the tree he had planted in our South Endzone (AKA the start of his yard).  Coach Sultenfuss coached track, football, and taught numerous classes at Boerne High.  He was our world geography teacher in 9th grade and while his style may have seemed crass to some, he typically offered a harsh dose of reality to each of our individual deficiencies.  The style he used, one might say, has become obsolete in our over-sensitized country, which is a shame, because it was often a great motivator to be laughed at for failing math.  With three older brothers, I definitely understood what his angle was and was so fortunate to have been taught by Coach Sultenfuss.  I later passed math. 

Available now at:


#13 Stan Leech



Stan 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 orchestrated an era of unmatched athletic success in the small community by hiring quality coaches, supporting all programs, and loving kids, which ultimately led to levels of achievement beyond any era in Boerne history. 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 Bludau. Coach Leech amassed over 800 wins as a head basketball coach and took teams in Boerne to the state tournament on two separate occasions, with a state runner-up team in 1990. Coming this weekend!

Available now at:


#14 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, officiating football games out in El Paso, covering the Sun Bowl, and so much 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.  Coming this weekend! 

Available now at:


Van Meter and Zayas Available Now, the rest coming soon!

#15 Steve Van Meter


 Coach Steve Van Meter spent the majority of his career as the Head Football Coach of the Friendswood Mustangs, a program that has only known four different head football coaches in it's entire 60+ year existence. "Coach Van" not only coached the mustangs for twenty years, but he also played on the 1973 Friendswood team that won the state championship, under Coach Henry Winston. In his twenty years at Friendswood, Coach Van Meter won more than 185 games in twenty-five total years as a head coach.  He led teams to the State Semifinals on two occasions, and the quarterfinals three times while in Friendswood. Coach Van went on to Hutto and led the Hippos to the State Quarterfinals, as well. You won't want to miss this episode! 

Available now at:


#16 Robert Zayas


 Coach Zayas coached me twenty years ago in the eighth grade, when I was a snot-nosed little punk in the jr. high at Boerne Middle School!  Believe me, I was not easy to deal with!  Fast-forward two decades later and this man is in charge of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (or what we call the "UIL" here in Texas).  Coach spent a couple of years in Texas Public Education as a teacher and coach in Boerne and at Pflugerville Connally, prior to heading to New Mexico to work on his PhD.  He ended up landing a job that lasted ten year with the New Mexico Activities Association (Similar to UIL), prior to taking a chance at the Executive Director role with the NYSPHSAA, and landing the job!  We'll be talking all about Athletic Administration and what it takes to be in that line of work for our listeners that are interested in that particular area.

Available now at:


#17 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!

Available now at:


#18 Alan Rich


Alan Rich was elected to the Boerne ISD Board of Trustees in 2006.  Prior to that, he grew up in San Antonio, and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School.  Alan then went on to Abilene Christian, before returning to the area, where he became an elected member of the Boerne ISD School Board.  Alan is the last remaining board member that I served with, and following the completion of his current term, will have 15 years experience on the BISD Board.  We'll be talking about all kind of things school board related, as well as, Alan's background, family, and much, much more!

available now at :  


#19 Dub Farris


We reach back to humble beginnings in Carlsbad, New Mexico, to a career as the Head Football Coach at Odessa High, San Antonio Marshall, and Dickinson, all the way to becoming an athletic administrator with Round Rock and NISD, we cover it all!  The name of Coach Dub Farris is easily recognizable because of the thousands of people that fill Farris Stadium on a regular basis, not to mention the many that drive by the beautiful facility (located along 1604 in San Antonio) on a daily basis.  It was a real pleasure and honor to take an hour to listen in to stories from the career of a Texas High School Football Coaching Legend, as we traveled all throughout the State of Texas.

Available now at:


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!

Jennifer Fox


I remember to this day the mantra she chose "180" which stood for a complete turn around of the program!  Not too long after, Boerne softball transitioned from an 0-10 district record to a state championship calibur team!

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!! 

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 University) 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. 

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!  

Chuck Foster


Coach Foster has been in Boerne ISD since 2002.  As head coach of the Boerne Greyhounds, Foster led the Boerne Greyhounds (in only his second year) to the UIL Class 4A State Championship.  In 2008, Coach Foster moved over to the newly opened Boerne - Samuel V. Champion High School.  Coach Foster led the Champion Chargers to the regional finals last season and posted a CHS school record 35 wins in 2019.  Baseball fans, and all coaches across the state, won't want to miss out on what will be a great podcast interview! 

Greg Dick


Mr. Dick has led the Friendswood Mustang Marching Band to nine consecutive UIL State Marching Band Contests, with six appearances in the finals, and three runner-up finishes!  The list of awards and successes for bands led by Mr. Dick are far too numerous to place in this small box, but this is certainly going to be an incredible interview with a lot of great information for those listeners that have a distinct interest in music, and for the casual listener, as well.  Mr. Dick will discuss growing up on the Gulf Coast, attending college at SHSU, and teaching at Dickinson, Clear Creek ISD (where he was district teacher of the year in 2000), and Friendswood.  Look for this interview to be available sometime around (or after) Christmas.

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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.