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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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June 16, 2024

Brock’s final goodbye

The+Aggies+took+a+moment+before+the+first+pitch+to+honor+Sam+Houstons+head+coach+Bob+Brock+for+all+he+has+done+for+the+sport.
Photo by Photos by Madeline Ramos

The Aggies took a moment before the first pitch to honor Sam Houston’s head coach Bob Brock for all he has done for the sport.

When No. 7 Texas A&M softball played Sam Houston State on Wednesday night for a midweek doubleheader, a familiar face on the opposing side would say his last goodbyes to A&M.
Bob Brock, former A&M and current SHSU head coach, made his last trip to Aggieland after he announced his retirement from coaching earlier this month.
“I really want to thank Sam Houston for giving me this opportunity to come back to my alma mater and coach the game I truly love,” Brock said to gobearkats.com. “This sport and this school have always been very special to me and it is an honor I have to opportunity to end my coaching career here.”
In his time at A&M, Brock had a 688-255 win-loss record in 16 years as the Aggies head coach and was the mastermind behind the Aggies success in the mid-to-late 80’s. Leading A&M to eight Women’s College World Series appearances and three national championships: two NCAA and one from the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.
“We were just the team to beat in the 80’s,” Brock said. “I don’t want to brag about it or be conceded, but we really set that tone, we kept it going and A&M has just kept right on rolling. When you win a national championship, you’re never going to forget that. It was unbelievable time during the 80’s.”
In 1996, Brock decided to pass the torch to current A&M head coach Jo Evans to join the coaching staff with a team in the Women’s Professional Fastpitch League in Tampa Bay before returning to college athletics in 1999 as an assistant coach for Tennessee.
After three years with the Vols, Brock decided to come back to Texas and take the head coaching position for his alma mater, SHSU, and has been there since 2002. Brock has faced the Aggies every year since 2006 — which is as far as the A&M athletics website goes. In that time frame, Brock never defeated A&M.
However, Brock said despite the struggles on the field, his trips to Aggieland have remained some of his favorites throughout the years.
“Every time I come here to visit A&M, it’s wonderful,” Brock said. “It’s hard for me to believe that for 17 years I’ve still been able to come over here to A&M [as a coach at Sam Houston] and enjoyed every bit of it.”
Brock sits as the ninth most winningest active coach in college softball, with almost 1100 wins, behind Donna Papa of North Carolina and ahead of Evans. As his successor, Evans said it has been an honor to follow in his footsteps and maintain the level of excellence he instilled more than 30 years ago.
“It felt good to be able to acknowledge him and recognize all that he did when he was at A&M,” Evans said. “It doesn’t go unnoticed. What’s important to me is that he understands I know what legacy is all about, and he left a great legacy here and the players that he recruited did. I’m just fortunate to be the one who’s here coaching this ball club, so it was nice to be able to tip our hat to him and for our kids to recognize this is Bob Brock. He was here coaching, and those championship trophies in there; he had a lot to do with that. It was great to have him here.”
Senior pitcher Trinity Harrington, who was born the year Brock coached his final season at A&M, said being able to be a part of his final game at A&M knowing what he has done for Aggie softball was something she was thankful to be a part of.
“His team is very well disciplined, and it probably transferred from his coaching style here at A&M over to Sam Houston,” Harrington said. “We wanted to honor him tonight and give him one last taste of being an Aggie playing field. He left a legacy. We talk so high about leaving a legacy. He being able to come back and seeing that work [that he put in] — keeping the traditions alive, playing with such poise and compassion when we play a sport — that’s something, I think that we were able to give to him tonight.”
Brock said he looks forward to the rest of Sam Houston State’s season. Although Brock said he doesn’t know what he will do after he officially retires, he knows that it will have something to do with softball.

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