Legendary Tucson High baseball coach Oscar Romero is retiring after playing and coaching at the school for over 35 years. His next stop will be a “dream” situation for him. He will be able to watch his son, Orlando, play up close at Adams State while serving as an assistant coach for the program.
Romero coached the Badgers to 488 wins, which works out to over 34% of the 1,429 wins the program has in its history from James F. McKale to Romero.
We wish Oscar well and I thank him personally for his friendship over the decade I have been covering high school sports in Southern Arizona.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
“It has been my honor to have coached at my alma mater. To have coached at the most storied Baseball High School in America was quite a challenge. Growing up as a kid I used to always dream about putting the red and white on. I watched past players before me like Ron Hassey, Pete Otero, Mike Odom and Al Lopez, who I idolized.
I grew up with parents who loved baseball, but always trusted my coaches and never questioned their intent. My father gave me the work ethic from a young age to work hard and to pursue perfection and your best effort was the key. My patience and perseverance came from my mother, she was a rock but always had a sensible quiet demeanor in handling situations.
I think I had a successful playing career at Tucson High and had many accolades at Tucson High. I also had great coaches like Ray Adkins and Tom Lundy who guided me and believed in me. Coaching had its bumps along the road but, all in all, it taught me how to treat and push young men to perform at their best. That is all I have ever strived for, having players to reach higher than they thought possible.
My father challenged me. He would say don’t be like me be better than me. I have given every ounce of my 35 years to making the program the best it could be. I wish the next candidate the best, but the torch will be pasted on with keeping up the tradition of success at THS. My advice to them is treat all of them like your own sons, ask for their best but, at the end of the day, love them with a new day approach.
I am done coaching high school but have always had aspirations of coaching college baseball. My second dream job would have been to coach at my other alma mater Pima, but they hired a legend and my coach who I have always had a high admiration for, coach Richard Alday.
The real last stop for me was to spend time and watch my son Orlando play college baseball at Adams State University, a D-II college in Alamosa, Colorado. Funny how timing is a factor in our destiny, Adam State is losing some of their coaching staff and I inquired about helping out and was hired instantly.
I will be taking over infield play, hitting instruction and defensive and offensive situations and, of course, help recruit Arizona players to the RMAC for Adams State.
The dream continues, watching my son play and continuing my last dream of coaching college baseball. I have been truly blessed. A quick thank you to all past players, assistant coaches, parents and administrators who always trusted me with our special Tucson High baseball players.”
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com