DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas — During the school year in the gateway to the Hill Country, Carl Waits arrives at the Dripping Springs ISD bus barn each morning and is welcomed with a traditional greeting: “Good morning, Coach.”
"Good morning, Melissa," Waits says.
"Good morning, Coach, how are you," Melissa replies.
The Dripping Springs legend has driven the bus route since he retired in 1995 and “coach” is something Waits still loves to hear.
"At least I don't get derogatory remarks anymore," Waits joked.
From 1969 to 1981, Waits was Dripping Springs head football coach. He also coached track, golf and basketball. In fact, Waits coached current Lake Travis boys basketball coach, Clint Baty.
During a visit with Waits at the original Dripping Springs High School building, he showed KVUE a scrapbook from his days as a Tigers coach, which included newspaper articles from his stint as the head football coach. The articles mentioned how hard Waits' kids played for him.
The Waits-coached Tigers won a district championship in 1973 and a bi-district playoff championship.
When asked about the difference in Dripping Springs in 1965 and 2018, Waits only needed two words.
“The growth,” he said.
Throughout all of the growth and changes in Dripping Springs, Waits remained a fixture in the community. -- from playing slow pitch softball in a league he formed in 1975 to keeping stats and scorebooks with his wife.
Waits said there’s been 3,000 to 4,000 people who have played softball in the league since 1975.
“If you played one at bat in this league in the last forty four years, you’re in the stats,” Waits explained.
One notable basketball stat in Dripping Springs history was set by retired, legendary Hays Consolidated High School football coach Bob Shelton, who is a Dripping Springs native.
“[Shelton] holds the record for scoring for Dripping Springs," said Waits.
Waits wrote a book about the history of Dripping Springs in the 1990's, which was published 11 years later.
“I initially shot video for my class to document the history of all of the buildings, education, and the city," said Waits when asked about what planted the seed to write a book. “It was an untended consequence”.
The book’s title: "The Complete History of Dripping Springs, Texas and the P.A. Smith Survey."
“It’s a forever book," Waits added. "The people who live in Dripping Springs today have only been here for 10 years. Most aren’t going to remember what Dripping Springs looked like in the old days.”
An accomplished humble man living the best retired life with his wife, Waits elaborated on the routine he and his wife experience weekly with a smile.
“Three nights a week, we’re at the softball field," Waits said. "We’re driving a bus during the school year and going to countless ballgames at the high school.”
A Dripping Springs legend everyone knows as "coach."