Watson Out at S.F.A. - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

6/03/08

Watson Out at S.F.A.

by Ryan Peterson

Four years ago Donnie Watson had a vision.

"I took the job (S.F.A. Baseball) because I thought we could be a top 50 team and compete with all the great school's in Texas," Watson says.

Despite leading S.F.A. to their first ever Southland Conference Tournament in 2007, Watson says he didn't accomplish what he set out to do in 2004.  His days at S.F.A. are over.   

Watson met with athletic director Robert Hill this afternoon and was given the option to resign.  Watson refused, so the school will not renew his contract which expires in August.  Watson says he was not given a reason for the move,  but it did not come as a surprise.

"There was writing on the wall that my level of expectation was greater then their ability to cash the check," Watson says.  "In January when they dropped the baseball stadium, which I think could have been the key piece and was the reason I took the job, the vision was completely altered."

Robert Hill would not talk to us, but did release a statement on the S.F.A. athletics website.

"I am appreciative for the work Coach Watson did in restarting our baseball program and getting the team into a respectable position among Southland Conference teams," Hill says.  "Baseball is made up of many parts that have to work together to be successful and we have reached a point in the program's development when new leadership is needed."

The new leader, at least for the time being is assistant Johnny Cardenas, who has been named interim head coach.   Cardenas was the Texas Collegiate League coach of the year last summer.

"I think the program moves forward," Watson says of the Jacks.  "They have great nucleus of kids."

"Johnny's a great baseball coach.... you've got a great foundation to build on."

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