When the school year finished and Robinson’s baseball and softball seasons came to an end, Rockets athletic director Tommy Allison faced a unique challenge this summer.
Allison had to replace a pair of coaches who had guided their teams to the state tournament in the past and reached the regional final round of the playoffs this spring. Baseball coach Bryan Kent and softball coach Bobby Cervenka each moved on to other pursuits.
It looks like Robinson and Allison were up to the task as the school has filled both posts with experienced coaches.
Former McLennan and Baylor assistant coach Chris Clemons is the new Rockets baseball coach, while former Lufkin Hudson and Magnolia West head coach Jimmy Eby has been tabbed to lead the Rockettes’ softball program.
Allison, for one, wasn’t surprised the school attracted worthy candidates.
“We’ve got a great tradition of success in both sports, so these are good jobs and great opportunities,” Allison said.
Clemons, who was a scout for the Chicago Cubs for the last seven years, said he’s looking forward to returning to the dugout. He was a Baylor assistant in 2007 and 2008 in between stints as an assistant at MCC.
This will be Clemons’ first high school coaching post.
“Coaching high school baseball will be more about getting guys to their potential, whether it’s being a starter on the high school varsity team, being a role player, playing at the college level or the few and far between that will have the opportunity to go in the draft,” Clemons said. “My goals is to get every single guy that comes out for baseball to their potential.”
Clemons played high school baseball at McGregor and collegiately at Texas A&M before being drafted in the first round by the Chicago White Sox in 1994.
He will also serve as a football assistant coach.
“I’m excited,” Clemons said. “I was at football workout this morning. I’m excited to get in there in two weeks and start meeting more of the athletes from the football side of it.”
Eby coached at Lufkin Hudson for 17 years and led the Lady Hornets to consecutive Class 3A state championships in 2012 and 2013. He left Hudson at the end of the 2016 school year and coached baseball at Moody for one year before taking the head softball coaching post at Magnolia West.
He said Cervenka set a high bar of expectations for Robinson softball and he’s looking forward to trying to meet them.
“Robinson is a top 5 program in the state of Texas in 4A,” Eby said. “They’re always in the playoffs and they always go deep in the playoffs. We always looked and said, we’re probably going to meet Robinson in the second, third, fourth round. Or we’re going to meet someone in this district. You always kept an eye on this district.”