Sam Houston State University Bearkats softball head coach Bob Brock announced that he will retire following this season after 17 years.
Athletic Director Bobby Williams appreciates the work that Brock has put into the softball program.
“We have been very fortunate to have a legend in the sport of softball lead our program,” Williams said. “We appreciate what he has done for us. By making this decision now, this will give the appropriate time for him to get every recognition he deserves throughout the season.”
In his 17 seasons to date, Brock has become the winningest coach in Bearkat softball history with 418 wins since his tenure began in 2002. The next coach behind him in the all-time rankings is Wayne Daigle, who coached from 1979-1983 and notched 225 wins in his four-year run with SHSU.
A member of the Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Fame, Southwest Conference Hall of Fame and National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Brock says that something he will miss the most is not always between the foul lines.
“The one thing I am going to miss the most is these kids,” Brock said. “To see their face when you make them an offer and all of this stuff. Of course, I’ll be missing the softball part of it. But, there’s nothing like that. Recruiting, looking forward to seeing them come in their freshman year in the fall—I’m really going to miss that. I love these kids out here and being around them all the time and every day for nine months, I’m gonna miss that.”
Brock is a graduate of SHSU’s class of 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice as well as a Master’s degree from Central Texas University in 1978.
In eight of the last 11 seasons, the Bearkats have reached the Southland Conference post-season tournament and have reached the tournament finals in 2005, 2007, 2012 and 2013. To put that in perspective, the Bearkats all-time from 1980-2001 had only reached the Southland Tournament three times.
Sam Houston State University also reached the NCAA Regionals in 2007. It was the first ever NCAA Division I Championship tournament appearance in program history. The only other appearances by the Bearkats came in the NAIA World Series back in 1981, NCAA Division II Championship tournament in 1982-1986 and a couple of NIT appearances in 1989 and 1993.
Even though everyone else is focused on his retirement and saying their final goodbyes, Brock is looking to take this final season and use it as an opportunity to go out on top.
“Well, the first thing I want to do is have a really good year and go out on a high note,” Brock said. “I think we are doing pretty good. It’s early. This is a conference where teams do lose games and then you have a chance to win the conference tournament. So, that’s kind of what my goal is, the first thing. Then after that, it’s all question marks.”
The Bearkats will begin an eight-game road trip, starting with a double header against the University of Central Arkansas Sugar Bears Friday at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. The next home game for SHSU will be at 3 p.m. on Friday for game one of a double header against the Lamar Cardinals.