The Los Fresnos Lady Falcons have a new volleyball coach to replace retired legendary coach Becky Woods.
Anissa Lucio officially signed to take over the Lady Falcons’ program Monday. Lucio spent the past four years at the helm of the Harlingen South volleyball program, and prior to that, three years leading Weslaco High.
Lucio said departing for Los Fresnos is “a really great opportunity personally and professionally.” She lives in the Los Fresnos district, and her husband teaches and coaches at the elementary school her kids will be attending. Being closer to family and having the opportunity to build on a strong legacy led Lucio to put her name in the hat when the position became available.
“It means a lot to me,” Lucio said. “Coaching against (the Lady Falcons), they’ve always been a tough team, so it definitely helps me, I think, knowing as much as I do about them. I’m just excited now to be joining the program.”
Lucio is very familiar with the Los Fresnos program, having coached against Woods and the Lady Falcons at South and played against them as a Brownsville Hanna alum. Lucio said she and Woods communicated shortly after she got the job, and the new coach told Woods how special it is to be filling her shoes.
“Coach Woods had a great career. I’m honored to take this position and follow in her steps. I’m just so excited to be a part of that tradition and that legacy and that successful program,” Lucio said.
In four seasons with the Lady Hawks, Lucio led them to three consecutive area-round playoff appearances. Twice her South teams upset the opposing district champion to advance to Round 2.
“South will always have a special place in my heart. We’ve had such a great ride there and so many accomplishments to be proud of. It was definitely hard to leave, but personally and professionally it’s just a better fit, so I’m excited about this new step,” Lucio said.
Los Fresnos athletic director David Cantu said there was a strong field of applicants interested in leading the Lady Falcons. Los Fresnos wanted someone with experience who could be a good role model, and Cantu was so impressed with Lucio, he said even if there were 100 candidates, she would’ve been the one.
She may be stepping into some big shoes, but Cantu doesn’t want Lucio to be anyone but herself when she takes over the program.
“She exuded leadership qualities in a very humble yet confident way, and her ability to communicate clearly and with a certain vision is, at the end of the day, what set her apart. One of the most tremendous interviews I’ve ever been a part of, to be honest,” Cantu said. “She’s already a proven winner, done some amazing things. All she has to do is be herself, and there’s no doubt that the volleyball program at Los Fresnos is going to benefit. She’s got that ‘it’ factor that you look for in a leader, and we’re very fortunate.”
Woods said she thinks Lucio is “gonna be a great fit” at Los Fresnos. She appreciated the fire Lucio displayed when they coached against each other, and she believes Lucio’s competitive nature is mirrored in the players and that the program’s winning ways will continue.
“I’m glad they hired her. She’ll do an awesome job,” Woods said. “She’s a feisty coach. She’s out to win. She’s a very good skills coach. She’s going to come in with different strategies, different game plans, and you know what, we needed that. They need that change. She’s going to get those kids fired up, and they’re going to play for her and her coaching staff. They’ll really like her a lot.”