Today will officially be the last day for Doug Robbins at Water Valley High School.The Blue Devils’ baseball coach announced on Thursday that he planned to move west to Dallas to take an internal affairs position with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“Today has been a real tough day,” Robbins said. “They knew it was a possibility I could be leaving and then today I told them that it was now a reality and that I’d been offered that job in Dallas. It’s an opportunity I felt like I needed to move forward with.”
The decision to leave Water Valley, where he had been the head baseball coach since 2005, did not come easy and actually took over a year-and-a-half.
For Robbins, the opportunity to serve his country in Dallas was too good to pass up.
While Robbins was a standout coach that saw his Blue Devils squads make deep runs in the playoffs annually, his impact on the Water Valley community was not limited to the baseball diamond.
He was also seen as a role model and someone the kids in the community could look up to.
“He’ll be missed. He’s been my coach all my years of playing, since seventh grade. It’ll never be the same without him,” junior Chris Conard said. “He was basically a father figure. He taught us about life. He basically put us before his own family sometimes and made sure he was always there for us.”
Added principal Glenn Kitchens: “He has meant a tremendous amount to the school as a whole and in particular to the young men who have an interest in baseball throughout the community.
“I hate to see him go. He’s my friend and I love him. He’s going to be missed, and not just by me I’m sure.”
The feelings of admiration and appreciation are mutual.
“It’s been really enjoyable to watch them be successful and to watch them grow up and go off to college and turn into young men,” Robbins said. “Even more so than that, when you sit down with some of these guys that are maybe a little further along in college or are out, you hear the maturity in them and the decision making.
“You kind of see them growing into what you had hoped they would become. That’s probably the most rewarding.”
The job of head baseball coach was officially posted on Thursday, according to Kitchens, with the hopes of having the position filled by January when school resumes from winter break. (December 3, 2010, Page 8A)