Hardin-Simmons alumnus manages growing DFW soccer club
By Macee Hall
Macee Hall, Communications and Content Strategy Assistant, Assignment Editor
(ABILENE, Texas)–A portion of Hardin-Simmons University’s graduates relocate to far corners of the world, but many find their callings closer to home. Outside of Abilene, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex houses one of the densest HSU alumni populations in Texas and includes Rusty Oglesby, high school coach and teacher, and general manager of the semiprofessional soccer team, the Denton Diablos.
Though he was born and raised in San Angelo, Oglesby’s family moved to Abilene when he was just 13. In high school, Oglesby was a tri-sport athlete at Abilene High, before registering at Hardin-Simmons in the early 1990s.
Oglesby attended HSU from 1993 to 1997, and graduated with his Bachelor of Arts degree. While at Hardin-Simmons, Oglesby played football under Coach Jimmie Keeling for four seasons, worked on HVAC maintenance on campus, attended college worship on Thursdays at University Baptist Church, and was heavily involved with youth programs through Calvary Baptist Church, where his father preached.
During his first football season with HSU, Oglesby had the honor of kicking off the first game in newly constructed Shelton Stadium. “Of course, we won the conference championship in 1993, but 100 other guys did that. I am the only one who will ever get to be the first to touch the ball in the first game at Shelton Stadium,” Oglesby explains. Also in 1993, he was named the first freshman All American out of the new stadium, and the only freshman All American named from HSU that year.
Currently, Oglesby is the assistant head coach and coordinator at John Paul II High School, where he coaches both football and soccer and is a personal finance teacher. Oglesby started another position on the side in 2014 as a certified real estate agent in the DFW area. His role with the Diablos is more of a weekend gig, he says, which comes to a head during the summer months when the soccer season kicks off.
Oglesby coached at four high schools before arriving at John Paul II in 2017. Over the years, he has led his teams to the 2010 UIL State Championships, the 2014 State Semifinals, and the 2016 State Finals, and was named United Soccer Coaches State Coach of the Year in 2016. He has also racked up a long list of awards in his time as a coach, including being named VYPE magazine’s Coach of the Year in 2010, TASCO Boys Region 2 Soccer Coach of the Year in 2010, 2014, and 2016, and District Coach of the Year eight times between 2000 and 2016.
“From a young age, I knew I was called to be a missionary. I thought, after going to HSU and playing football for coach Keeling, there was no better mission than being a high school coach,” says Oglesby.
Oglesby remains busy outside of work as the father to two adult children and a baby due late this year. Though his schedule regularly stays booked, Oglesby remains motivated by “knowing that we are called to be fishers of men and we are called to be leaders. Hardin-Simmons gave me the opportunity to hone that skill,” Each day, Oglesby asks himself, “What can I do to better myself, to better my family, and leave a legacy for my kids?”
When asked what advice he would give to alumni and students nearing graduation, Oglesby responded, “Network. Network. Network. There are thousands of Hardin-Simmons graduates out there, and we take care of Hardin-Simmons graduates… You never know when another Hardin-Simmons grad will pop up.”
Denton Diablos co-owner Damon Gochneaur remarks that “Rusty Oglesby has served as the club’s General Manager since our inception just over a year ago. Rusty’s connections to the soccer community and passion for the game have helped us grow the Diablos, and he was an integral part of our inaugural season’s success.”
In a press release from the Diablos, Oglesby states that “all my life I have dreamt of an opportunity to be involved in the beautiful game (soccer) at the next level and I am truly humbled and honored to have that come to fruition with the Diablos.”
The Diablos play in the Lone Star Conference of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL), a “member-driven national men’s soccer league committed to the support of its teams on and off the field and growing the sport nationally.”
The NPSL consists of almost 100 teams across America. The league is rapidly growing and is looking to add more teams in the coming years. For more information on the NPSL, go to https://www.npsl.com To learn more about the Diablos and to keep up with their schedule for next season, go to https://dentondiablos.com
Appreciate Local, Independent Journalism?
Donate to help the West Texas Tribune strong!
The West Texas Tribune is a community-based newspaper that has been published, uninterrupted, since May 2005. Our goal is to highlight events and people throughout West Texas as an independent, locally run newspaper. We thrive on the support of our local community.