HEAD COACH: 40 SEASONS RECORD: 343-131-3 SCHOOLS: NEW BRAUNFELS,
SAN ANTONIO MADISON STATE SEMIFINALS: (NEW BRAUNFELS) 1982,
1983, 1985, 1986 (MADISON) 2007, 2011, 2013
the most successful tenure of his career.
The Gobblers went 107-22-3 during Gi-breth’s 11 years as head coach, made four
state final appearances and won two state
Cuero put together a 44-game winning streak
from 1973 to 1975 that included 26 shutouts
and still ranks fifth all-time in state history.
“Everybody asks me about the streak,” Gil-
breth said. “I don’t know about the odds, but it’s
just luck. It was one those things that happen,
and thank goodness it did.”
Streety was aware of what Gilbreth accom-
plished at Cuero. Streety got a taste when he
was at New Braunfels and coached against the
Gobblers in the zone playoffs.
“It was great knowing each other, but when it
came to the ball game, we wanted to beat each
other’s tail,” Gilbreth said. “I knew I had to duck
Jim’s mama when I got back to Smiley, and he
knew he had to duck mine.”
Streety didn’t enjoy losing, but was thankful
for the opportunity to see Gilbreth in action.
“He was my hero,” Streety said. “I was scared
to death of the Cuero Gobblers. Those guys
warmed up harder then we played. Of course, I
was young and we had a young staff. We would
watch Buster and his coaches warm those guys
up. He had a great run of kids. I’m serious. Me
and my guys wanted to be like him and his guys,
and his team.”
Gilbreth had a record of 224-92-3 when
he completed his 36 years as a head coach.
Streety went 343-131-3 during his 40 years as
a head coach and stepped down after leading
Madison to the Class 5A, Division I semifinals
– its third semifinal appearance during his ten-
ure – ranked No. 4 in wins among the state’s
“I love being around the kids and the coach-
es,” Streety said. “I never – not one day – didn’t
look forward to going to work and being around
those kids and coaches.”
Gilbreth traveled extensively after his re-
tirement and now spends time with his three
daughters and their families.
But the impact of his coaching career is
never far behind.
“The memories of those kids,” Gilbreth said.
“You get a phone call from a kid and you say,
‘Who?’ There have been so many. After a while,
they tell you one thing they did and then you
“The greatest enjoyment I had is the kids.
Most memories are Cuero. But I still can go back
to San Antonio John F. Kennedy and remember a
kid, Frank Mata, who had nothing. Frank went to
Trinity, became the head coach at Kennedy and
the athletic director for the Edgewood school
district and they named the stadium for him. You
just can’t forget those kids.”
Those coached by Gilbreth and Streety
haven’t forgotten the impact the coaches had
on their lives.
“He was very humble, he was stern, he loved
us as if we were his children,” said Jeff Ray,
who played on the defensive line during Cuero’s
winning streak and went on to become attorney
in El Paso. “He had a great heart for us and
treated everybody equally. There was never
anything about playing a favorite. He played his
best players. Those who worked the hardest
would be rewarded with the opportunity to play
Streety is thankful for the chance to continue
in the profession, while having time to visit his
son and daughter and their families.
“I would like to be remembered for the
relationships I had with the kids and the
coaches and families and what I did for them
on a personal level,” Streety said. “Those vic-
tories come and go. It’s nice to win a bunch of
games. But having those guys stay in touch with
you over the years and express appreciation for
the things you’ve done for them. That does a lot
more for me.”
Gilbreth and Streety have seen the game
change over the years, especially with the pro-
liferation of spread offenses.
“There are many times when I sit down at the
Buster Gilbreth & Jim Streety
kitchen table and draw those spread offenses
and wonder what would you do?” Gilbreth said.
“One thing I could still do and that’s play a front
four. But the secondary and the linebackers,
you’re going to have to move those people into
a zone. It’s a different ball game.”
“I don’t know that your philosophy changes
that much because the game is still about
fundamentals and teamwork and discipline and
all of those kinds of things,” Streety said. “Your
strategy, particularly defensively, has changed
a little bit. I’m still a little old school. We’d play
games where we had to score 40 to win.”
“I guess if I’ve credited anything to whatever
success that we’ve had it’s that we learned
how to work hard and there’s no short cuts par-
ticularly in coaching football. If you can get your
kids to buy into that, you’ve got a pretty good
36 SEASONS RECORD: 224-92-3 SCHOOLS: POTEET,
COTULLA, SAN ANTONIO KENEDY, CUERO, GALENA PARK NORTH SHORE,
PASADENA DOBIE, FORT BEND CLEMEN TS STATE FINALS: (CUERO) 1970,
1973, 1974, 1975 STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: (CUERO) 1973, 1974
Streety, left, refers to
Gilbreth, right, as “my
hero.” Streety retired from
coaching in February.