By TYLER MASK
Looking back over his 25 years of service with the Mineral Wells Fire Department, Mineral Wells Fire Captain Roddy Coquat has truly enjoyed his time on the clock. Although he has put out the fire on his career with MWFD, his fire is far from burning out.
Coquat hung up his gear for the last time on Feb. 28, but he remains very active. He was in Costa Rica surfing just last week and taught a fire class last night.
Coquat was born and raised in Three Rivers, Texas. When he left Three Rivers, he pursued college rodeo at Southwest Texas Junior College in Uvalde, Texas. He spent nearly two years there before heading to the University of Texas, where he remained only for a semester. After the first semester, Coquat had gained enough money to receive his professional card in rodeo.
“[I went] all across the country then,” Coquat said. “I thought I was a big time. I went to the professional ranks in 1974, and became a member of the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association and then went all over the United States until the early 1980s.”
Marriage finally brought Coquat home. For a period of time, he remained in the rodeo, but only around Texas until 1991.
After Coquat's competitive rodeo career came to halt, he needed to find an outlet that was as freeing and adventurous as his bull riding days.
“I wanted an outside job,” Coquat said. “I didn't want a desk job, and I was trying to think of something good.”
Through the years, he had several friends who tried to convince him to start a career in firefighting. During this time of searching, Coquat got back in touch with his old pals and decided on going to fire school.
“I set that as a plan, and, luckily, got into a fire school in Forth Worth,” Coquat said.