HUNTSVILLE – After 37 years as collegiate and professional coach, Sam Houston State head softball coach Bob Brock has decided this will be his last.

Brock announced to the team Monday night he will be retiring at the end of this season.

“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 as he prepares for his 17th season at Sam Houston. “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.”

Brock is Sam Houston’s all-time winningest coach, directing the Kats to 407 wins since 2002. That is just a part of his illustrious coaching career that has seen him record more than 1,100 wins and three national titles while coaching at Texas A&M.

“We have been very fortunate to have a legend in the sport of softball lead our program,” said Director of Athletics Bobby Williams. “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.”

During his career, he directed the Bearkats to the university’s first Southland Conference Tournament championship and NCAA Division I Championships tournament appearance in 2007.  In the NCAA College Station regional, the Kats defeated Louisiana-Lafayette before falling to Texas A&M in the regional semifinals. 

This past year, Brock received the highest honor in the coaching profession when he was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

When Brock became the SHSU head coach in 2002, the program had fallen on hard times. Sam Houston had won three national championships (AIAW in 1981, NCAA Division II in 1982, and NIT in 1993) and three Southland titles (1988, 1990, and 1993). But, between 1998 and 2001, the Bearkats finished either ninth or 10th in the league.

The Bearkats have earned a Southland Conference post-season tournament berth eight of the last 11 seasons, reaching the tournament finals in 2005, 2007, 2012 and 2013.

The Facts

  • Beginning his 17th season as head softball coach at his alma mater Sam Houston
  • Ranks ninth among NCAA Division I active softball head coaches in total career victories (1,102)
  • Enters the 2017 softball season with a career total of 1,102 wins
  • Ranks as Sam Houston’s all-time winningest coach, directing the Kats to 407 wins since 2002
  • Southland Conference Coach of the Year in 2005
  • Directed the Bearkats to the university’s first Southland Conference tournament championship and NCAA Division I Championships tournament appearance in 2007
  • Coached 21 All-Americans, 60 NCAA All-Region players and two U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists
  • Served as head coach at Baylor from 1980 to 1981 and at Texas A&M from 1982 to 1996
  • Directed six teams to the College World Series, winning national championships in 1982, 1983 and 1987 with Texas A&M and finishing as runner-up in 1984 and 1986
  • Member Texas A&M Athletic Hall of Fame, Southwest Conference Hall of Fame and National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame
  • Women’s Professional Fastpitch League head coach for Tampa Bay Firestix in 1997
  • Received bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Sam Houston in 1969 and master’s degree in criminology from Central Texas University in 1978

The Quotes

Brandi Crnkovic, SHSU pitcher 2006-09, member SHSU Hall of Honor

“Coach Brock, Words cannot express my gratitude. Thank you for the opportunity to play here at Sam Houston. Thank you for all the tough love and helping me become the best that I was capable of becoming. As current coach I find myself repeating things we once thought you were crazy for saying and it all makes sense now. I have such great appreciation for what you taught us. Thank you for being my coach and my friend.”

Paula Young, Baylor head softball coach 1981-88, 1994-200

“As a coach knows, passion is contagious. I still see the passion and enthusiasm you had when you first started at Baylor 37 years ago. Thank you for the door you opened for me at Baylor and many other former players. Thank you for your influence and sharing your passion with us all.” 

Bill Galloway, head coach Texas A&M 1978-80, Louisiana Tech 1982-2002

“You were one of the original members of our coaching association and have been around this game more than 35 years. You have seen this game come from playing on sandlots, slow pitch fields to million dollar stadiums. It’s been a fantastic career and I’m so proud for you and excited for you and your family.”

Jim Beitia, head coach Tennessee 1994-2001

“A lot of people don’t know, but you kind of took softball to the next level, taking that Texas A&M team all over the country to play. You were probably the first to recruit nation-wide. I want to thank you for your time you came and helped me out at the University of Tennessee. I needed a coach in the middle of the season and you were there within a week. I am glad to know you as a friend, a colleague and a mentor.”

Shawn Andaya, Texas A&M pitcher, Member of Texas Sports Hall of Fame

“Thank you coach Brock. Thank you for believing in me and bringing me to Texas A&M University so I could be the very first person in my family graduate. I can’t thank you enough for all you have done and for believing in me.”

Chris Thompson, Sam Houston Senior Associate AD

“Bob Brock has brought to the game of softball and this university an intensity but also compassion. He has a passion for this game and a drive. His biggest contributing factor to softball and Sam Houston State is he brings incredible people into the program. He then turns these student athletes into great adults when they leave the program but still are leaving their mark on this game.”