It is late in the evening in the library. The third floor echos with the quiet whispers of study groups and the chatter of keyboards, along with the steam rising off the hot drinks in Java City. It is in Java City, at the Eco Grounds cafe, where students can find Randy Gibbons serving them coffee and pre packaged Aramark snacks. Most students that pass through Java City have no idea that the man preparing their drinks has worked in many different places, in many different and interesting jobs, from a soldier in the United States Army to a basketball coach at Our Lady of the Lake University.
Gibbons was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but grew up in Trenton, New Jersey. It was when he was living in Tampa, Florida that he enlisted in the Army. He spent four years in the service, one of which was in Germany. It was his Advanced Individual Training at Ft. Hood that brought Gibbons to Texas.
In Texas, he spent his freshman year playing basketball at the University of Incarnate Word
“They didn’t have scholarships so I was getting money from the VA because I had just got out of the service,” said Eco Grounds employee Randy Gibbons.
He started his collegiate coaching career at Laredo Community College with the women’s volleyball program, moving on to become the assistant women’s basketball coach at Texas A&M International, where he took classes while coaching.
“I was there for three years,” Gibbons said, “That’s where I got my degree (in kinesiology) from.”
For six of the past seven years Gibbons served as a part time assistant women’s basketball coach, during which time he earned three conference championship rings, one which hung from his neck as we spoke.
“Mostly I was in charge of stats and I was in charge of the post players.” Gibbons said, “They are awesome. Great bunch of girls.”
In addition to coaching, Gibbons worked as a Starbucks barista at a nearby hospital, where his favorite drink was vanilla blonde.
“That’s where I met [location manager] Kathy [Fordham] and she came here and she said she had a position here and I came here.”
And so, in his year off from coaching, he came to Trinity, taking the night shift at Eco Grounds in the library.
He is not sure if he will coach again next year. He says he would either like to open his own coffee shop or get back into coaching
“I like them both, but if God opened up a job for me to open up a coffee business I would do it in a heartbeat,” Gibbons said, “I love this layout. I love all of it.”
Right now Gibbons is enjoying his time at Trinity and says the students are very respectful and kind.
“They’re very friendly here,” Gibbons said, “I get so many thank yous and pleases and you’re welcomes.”
Gibbons is pretty settled in San Antonio, where he gets to see his two daughters, ages 24 and 28, and their children on a regular basis. It is not just family that Gibbons likes about San Antonio, but the basketball culture as well.
“Even though I’m from Philadelphia my favorite NBA team is the San Antonio Spurs and the reason why I say it is because I’ve coached basketball. I’ve been around it for twenty years and they’re [the Spurs are] very fundamental,” Gibbons said, “That’s the key thing. There’s nothing like watching the Spurs. Nothing.”
Gibbons loves his job at Trinity and loves the atmosphere of the small school and hopes he can in some small way be a positive influence on the lives of the students here.
“I would…encourage [everyone at Trinity] to continue to be successful and keep loving what they do cause what they do trickles down to someone else like with me,” Gibbons said, “I try to instill that on the students. When they come here I try to greet them, to make them feel welcomed, to help them so when they leave they leave with a smile and leave with a good product. If everyone thought like that I think we’d have a better world.”