NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - After 45 years, Bobby Reyes is retiring from coaching.
The Nacogdoches athletic director confirmed the news Monday morning. His last day with the district will be June 1.
Reyes, a Kilgore native and SFA graduate began his career in Nacogdoches as a baseball coach in the late 70s.
One of his early teams was No. 4 in the nation and No. 2 in state with a 26-2 record. Prior to his return to Nacogdoches, Reyes spent 8 years at Richardson JJ Pearce High School from 1999-2007.
He is best known for guiding Pearce through the transition from Class 4A to 5A and back to 4A. He compiled a 52-33 record and led them to the playoffs three times. In the 33 years before his arrival, Pearce had only two winning seasons.
In his time as head coach in Nacogdoches with the Dragons he has turned the program around to be respectable. In his 7 seasons the program is 28-45. While the record does not show it, the team has been in the playoff hunt for 5 of the seasons. The team has gone to the playoffs three seasons and beat Lufkin twice.
“I did not want anyone to come in here like I did with a really bad situation,"Reyes said. ”I feel like it is a lot better and the program is in good shape."
Reyes has coached several DI college players including Brandon Jones, the program’s biggest success story on the football field under Reyes, bringing in an All-American honor. As happy as he is for the success on the field, Reyes is more excited about the success of the players off the field.
“You want to make better citizens out of the kids,” Reyes said. “That is my number one goal. I want them to be good in the classroom, good in the community and good here. It does not just work one way. The guys that use the kids ought not be in the business. You should be here for the kids. It is not what i have done. It is what these coaches and players have done to in all the sports here. ”
Before Reyes came to the Dragons, the school was not taken seriously by others. Many schools saw Nacogdoches as a “gimme” win. That has all changed.
“They have done a great job,” Lufkin Head Coach Todd Quick said. “The kids go out to expect to win. The kids play hard. You have to take Nacogdoches serious now. I think it will always be a rivalry but now the kids knowing what to do and how hard they play it is just a testament to what Bobby has done. I am happy for him. He has earned the right to go when he wants to go. He has done what he wants to do. He has impacted life for 40 years. Now it is time to enjoy the time with the wife and grand kids."
Reyes will remain athletic director until a new one is hired. After that he will be reassigned in the district until the June 1 completion of his contract.